Boo: Xavier Henry Spotlight

HAMPTON, Va. --- Xavier Henry is a longtime veteran of the national hoops circuit, now playing in his third year on one of the top teams at the top level of AAU basketball. And yet he's only a rising junior.

But the Henry that we first saw in 2005 – who was an impressive talent then – has changed considerably. This weekend at the Boo Williams Invitational he sported a college ready body and a college ready game.

"I've gotten stronger, quicker, handle the ball more and I'm a team leader," he said of his improvement.

Henry (whose first name is pronounced "Zah-vee-ay"), swished his first three three-pointers and splashed a number of early jumpers as his Athlete's First team routed an overmatched opponent Saturday afternoon at the Kecoughtan High School gym.

His smooth game and picture-perfect lefty jumper wowed observers to the tune of 25 points (10-15 FG) and six rebounds. He's a 6-foot-6, physically developed shooting guard with serious athleticism and a well rounded offensive game.

And he already has narrowed down his college list to a select group of favorites.

"Kansas, Memphis and North Carolina -- those are my top three," Henry said. [I chose them because of] their playing styles; the way they play and how they like to run and gun."

The early buzz surrounding Henry is that Kansas will be tough to beat because of his family ties to Lawrence.

"My dad and my mom and my aunt all went to Kansas and then my brother signed with Kansas before going in the MLB draft," Henry said.

Yet he insists that his family members have voiced no preference in what school he ends up attending.

"It's surprising because they don't even really care," Henry said. "They just want me to go to a basketball-oriented school and get a good education."

And to find the school that is a right fit, Henry plans to continue to take visits.

"I've been to Kansas and Memphis, but I haven't gone up to North Carolina," he said. "Later on in the year [I plan to visit UNC]. I'll also probably visit Duke, Florida and maybe Texas.

"I know it's a lot of visits – I've got to figure it all out."

Xavier Henry Profile

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