Real Deal: John Henson Spotlight

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After his junior season in high school ended much earlier than he'd have liked it to, future Tar Heel John Henson couldn't wait to get back on the floor.

The 6-10 forward from Round Rock (Texas) High spent Friday night at the Real Deal on the Hill getting acclimated to the floor at the University of Arkansas and showed off a well rounded game while dropping in an easy 18 points.

"It feels good to be running again, AAU is always fun," said Henson of his return to the floor. "I was really looking forward to all the tournaments. We're getting it together, the last four or five games we're really starting to get it together and are ready for some competition."

It was just about this time last year that Henson first started to emerge on the radar of high level programs and his overall improvement over the last year has been nothing short of astonishing.

"I think the biggest improvement to me has been my ball handling and quickness," Henson told Inside Carolina. "I'm able to take it to the hole a lot easier where in the past I would have stood out there and shot it. My shot is better, too, but there's always room to improve that and my defense, too."

Part of the improvement process has been a matter of adjusting to his new frame. After growing so quickly last year, Henson says that he's just now becoming comfortable with his long 6-10 build.

"Yeah, that's the thing I'm really excited about," said Henson who now checks in at a little over 190 pounds. "I'm just starting to get used to how to use it, and how to maneuver to the hole with my new size."

On top of playing with his new squad the Franchize All-Stars, Henson has a busy summer planned and will make stops at both the Amare Stoudamire and LeBron James Skills Academies. He'll also head to the NBA Players Camp in June and he hopes to continue Franchize's hot start while helping his teammates attract looks.

"The first goal is to win a major tournament," said Henson of his summer goals. "The second goal, like always, is to get better and help maybe help some of my teammates get looks for scholarships and stuff like that."

Finally, with his commitment to North Carolina secure, Henson is looking at the game much differently while also doing a little early work to get to know some of his future teammates on a more casual basis.

"When I'm training I have to train to their style of play. I also look more in depth into their stuff now when I watch them on TV," said Henson. "I've talked to David Wear, Kendall [Marshall] and Reggie [Bullock]. That's who I've talked to so far, it's been kind of like ‘what's up,' ‘how you doing' and stuff like that."


While he's still very skinny, John Henson took the floor Friday night a drastically improved player. Having grown confident with his long frame, he handled the ball with ease, pulled up for jumpers and used his length to get on the glass and alter some shots. He's not athletic in the sense that he's a leaper, instead it's his overall agility, ability to change speeds and dynamic ball skills that make him an athletic wonder at his size. He doesn't always finish around the rim, but that is coming along and it's impressive to see a kid his size drill jumpers, shake defenders off the dribble for floaters or grab offensive rebounds, gather quickly and go right back up for a lefty jump hook. When recently updated their rankings Henson made a jump to No. 13 in the country and there's a chance that he's still got some climbing left should he continue to progress and impress at his current rate.

John Henson Profile

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