Nike: Richard Hendrix Spotlight

INDIANAPOLIS – Alabama's Richard Hendrix has two goals this summer – to be the No. 1 prep player in the country and to decide between the two remaining colleges on his list.

The chance to leave July as the No. 1 player started in earnest Thursday at the Nike Camp at IUPUI. Hendrix's classic low post game is often overwhelming for opponents.

On the college front, Hendrix is choosing between home state Alabama and North Carolina. Both colleges have good programs to sell to the 6-foot-8, 257-pound power forward from Athens, Ala.

"Schools are still calling me, but at this point, it would have to take something drastic for me to consider other schools," Hendrix said.

He has been at two finalists for several months now.

"Alabama's NCAA Tournament run (last spring) helps a lot. I know they have a good team and they are bringing in good players. It put some confidence in my head that they can be a national power."

The Crimson Tide has had several quality players come through over the years such as Antonio McDyess, Latrell Sprewell and Derrick McKey.

But he admitted the draw of North Carolina's tradition is a strong one, as is the talent the team is sure to have – he just isn't sure exactly who those teammates with the Tar Heels might be.

"I know at any school that they can leave after one year or two years," Hendrix said. "I know they have a lot of talented guys coming in and coming back."

Hendrix realizes he'll have to outplay Tyler Hansbrough in head-to-head matchups this week to reach his goal of the No. 1 ranking. The two played Wednesday with an edge towards Hansbrough, and the rematch will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

"I know we'll be playing again sometime," Hendrix said. "Neither one of us really dominated or had the upper hand. We'll go hard against each other and have fun. "I know it's the matchup people want to watch. Everyone knows that."

Hansbrough and Hendrix were originally scheduled to be teammates at the camp, but to even the competitive balance, Nike split up the duo by trading Hansbrough. Hendrix has no problem if they both pick North Carolina for college.

"It's a possibility," Hendrix said. "I figure if Michael Jordan can be teammates with good players at Carolina, anyone else can do it too.

"Alabama is the in-state program and they have a chance to be a power because they have some great things going on and have recruited me since I was a freshman. North Carolina has the great coach in Roy Williams and the great tradition. Just the name UNC, everyone knows about it."

The threat of entering the NBA draft is alive and well with most elite high school players, but Hendrix isn't overly concerned with bypassing college.

"It has entered my thoughts but right now, I'm thinking only of college," Hendrix said. "If the option comes into play, I'll look at it then. You almost have to think about the draft these days. But I'm thinking about college."


Inside Carolina Top Stories