It doesn’t take long to figure out that Xavier Henry isn’t your average 16 year old basketball player. The rising junior at Oklahoma City (OK) Putnam City has an advanced game, a college ready body and some star quality on the court. His grace and maturity extend beyond the court where he’s already polished when dealing with the media and fans looking to chat him up.
Not surprisingly, the 6-6 lefty shooting guard has become one of the hottest properties in the class of 2009. His list of schools is filled with heavy hitters.
“Basically Kansas , North Carolina , Kentucky , Memphis , Texas and Ohio State ,” said Henry who would later add Louisville . “My family’s like a Kansas family because everybody went there but I’m pretty open to anybody.”
Armed with range on his jumper that extends to beyond the three point line, Henry is more than just a mad bomber from deep. He can put the ball on the floor, has a nice mid range game and is becoming a very dangerous post scorer.
While some kids play coy and tell you that they don’t pay any attention to rankings or what’s being written about them, Henry knows what’s out there. He’s paying attention too.
“I pay attention to it, I’m not going to lie,” said Henry of what’s written about his game. “I like to make sure that when people say I can do something I can do it. I don’t want people to say why is he ranked that high or anything, I make sure I work hard.”
So, where exactly does Henry see himself among the class of 2009’s top dogs?
“They have me #2 behind Renardo Sidney,” said a smiling Henry. “I haven’t seen him play, but I’m sure I could take him. I’m sure.”
Back to more serious matters, the southpaw has been in the gym working on his game. He’s already been exposed to college coaches and scouts since before he started high school so he knows that he’s got to keep working to become a complete player.
“I’m developed more with my ball handling skills and knowing what shots to take,” Henry told Phog.Net. “I’ve also added a few shots to my repertoire.”
Having been on the campus of Kansas several times, Henry said that he’ll likely see all of the other schools on his list before making a decision.
“I like knowing my teammates and knowing my coaches well,” said Henry. “Having a great relationship with everybody so I know what I’m getting into.”
As for when he’ll make a decision, Henry says that he’ll take some time with his decision. But, he’s not going to drag it out for too long.
“I’ll take a while to decide, I won’t say it’s like too late like how Jai Lucas did it, but it won’t be that late,” said Henry of the timing of his decision. “I’ll probably make it around my senior year, right before.”
As for what appeals to him, Henry says that the same things he likes about Kansas are the same things he likes about almost all the schools on his list.
“I like the run and gun style and I also like how the coaches talk to you so you know what you are getting into when you get there,” said Henry. “That way it won’t be a surprise, you’ll know what you need to do.”
So, with a decision coming sometime before his senior season, Henry says that relationships with the coaching staff and players will be the most important factor in his decision. But, he cautions that it will make things tough because of how well he’s already gotten to know everybody.
“It will probably be relationships with them,” said Henry of what’s most important. “I think I have pretty good relationships with all of them, so we’ll see.”