Nike: Richard Hendrix

INDIANAPOLIS -- Alabama junior Richard Hendrix went on his first flight when he attended the USA Youth Festival in Colorado Springs a week and a half ago. After his performance this week at the Nike Camp, he'll be in for another kind of flight -- right to the top of the Class of 2005 and up the charts of the wish list of college coaches.

"If my recruiting process speeds up (after this week), then I'll adjust to it," Hendrix said. "Right now, I'm content with how it is. I just need to work on my game and get better and be the best that I can be."

At 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds, Hendrix owned the paint this week at IUPUI. For instance in Wednesday's matchup against Utah's Chris Miles, a top 75 senior, Hendrix shot a perfect 6-for-6 for 12 points. What he wanted, he did.

Soon, college coaches will want him. Hendrix doesn't have a formal list and isn't in any hurry to get the recruiting process over. Most believe Alabama is positioned well, but North Carolina will also be in the mix.

"The only colleges I've visited so far are Alabama and Vanderbilt," Hendrix said. "I just want to be able to fit into the system and work hard and just play. I also like schools with good tradition.

"North Carolina has great tradition. (UNC) coach Roy Williams has sent me a letter, which had his name signed on it. Other than that, nothing more."

Hendrix laughed at the irony that everyone wants to know what college he's going to attend, and yet, he hasn't even reached the stage of even talking with many college coaches because of NCAA guidelines. It's hard to make a decision with scant knowledge of the facts.

"I haven't had much contact with a lot of these coaches," he said. "As time goes on, I'd really like to talk to them. I've just seen the guys on TV, but they've never called the house or anything. I get the letters, but everyone gets letters."

Contrary to some reports, Hendrix's parents both attended Athens State, his hometown college, and not the University of Alabama.

"My parents will support whatever decision I make," said the well-spoken Hendrix. "They aren't pressuring me to go anywhere or to make a quick decision. They just want me to enjoy my time playing basketball and support me in whatever I do."

Not just an inside the paint dominator, Hendrix is slowly expanding his game where he can be a threat with his mid-range jumpshot or taking slower, bigger people off the dribble. Hendrix's next and last tournament will be the Nike Peach Jam in Augusta, Ga.

"When I go back home (to Athens), I want to work harder, get my jump shot right and hit the weights," Hendrix said. "I want to get better for next year."

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Check out IC's Richard Hendrix profile.


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