2005 Spotlight: Richard Hendrix

<i>Inside Carolina</i>'s Jeff Goodman introduces another important name to keep an eye out for in the 2005 class. Richard Hendrix is a 6-8 post player from Athens, Ala.

Richard Hendrix didn't know what to expect. He was a last-minute call-up for the Boo Williams Tournament last summer after the Alabama Lasers' star player, D.J. White, injured his knee and couldn't play.

"It was a big surprise and was intimidating at first," the 6-8, 235-pound Athens High (Ala.) sophomore said. "It was my first year to play real intense AAU ball and there I was starting at center for the under-17 team."

It didn't take long for Hendrix to shed the nerves. He played well against Arizona-bound Ndudi Ebi in the semifinals and went onto have a great summer, earning a Nike Camp invitation after finishing among the Top 10 players at the Nike Jamboree in St. Louis.

"He's such a smart player," Alabama Lasers coach William Pearson said, "He knows how to play the game and has terrific fundamentals. He remind me of Tim Duncan."

However, Hendrix is the first to admit that he's far from a finished product.

"I need to improve my outside game and my ballhandling skills," he said.

Hendrix averaged 17.5 points, 13.2 boards and 4 blocks per game as a freshman and is coming off a 33-point, 11-rebound effort in a loss to Hartselle earlier this week.

The 16-year-old, who has a 3.75 GPA, is a top target of numerous big-time college programs even though he has been concentrating more on his performances on the court.

"I haven't really been thinking of colleges and haven't made a list or anything like that," he said.

But he did mention North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky as those who have shown early interest thus far. Local school Alabama will also likely be in the mix.

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