Gym Rat Antics

Mychael Henry was just an average Chicago area player going into his junior season. After averaging 29 points and eight rebounds for Orr Community Academy, Henry's recruitment has risen as fast as his skills have improved on the court.

MADISON - Even after seeing his stock rise during a monstrous junior season, Mychael Henry still can't be found.

Between balancing a full travel schedule with the loaded AAU Mac Irvin Fire and trying to narrow in on a college choice, Henry won't be found often hanging out with his friends or kicking back to relax. If one was to send out a search party for the 6-foot-6 forward, the best place to start is every gymnasium in the Chicago area.

"I am just really in the gym working all the time to try and get better," Henry said. "My shot wasn't falling, so I've really worked on that and my ball handling to get better."

It's hard to believe Henry was displeased after his junior season. Entering his junior year as well known but average 2011 prospect, Henry took a giant leap forward after averaging 29 points and eight rebounds Orr Community Academy.

At the same time, his offer list improved from Fairfield, Illinois State, Indiana State, Loyola-Chicago, Nevada and St. Louis to a Wisconsin offer in early February, Baylor and Illinois in early March and Marquette in late March.

Throw in the fact that Notre Dame, Purdue and Georgetown (who, according to Henry, said it would offer should he visit) are all showing strong interest and Henry has multiple options.

One of those high options has been the Badgers. Led by the recruitment of Howard Moore, the Badgers coaching staff has made more than a handful of trips down to Chicago to watch him play.

"I am real comfortable with him," Henry said of Moore. "Our relationship has grown a lot. He's from Chicago so I can relate to him. They are real straight up with me when I come to visit and when I talk to them. My favorite is Wisconsin along with Illinois and Georgetown."

In addition to spending time in the gym, the other key for Henry this summer is spending time in the weight room. Slowing adding weight to his frame, Henry has added about 10 pounds to push his frame up to 218 pounds, making him feel more confident with the ball.

"I am more explosive, without question," Henry said, "and I can post up and compete with people."

Having to add the weight was a necessity, not a luxury, when Henry switched from the Rising Stars AAU program to the Mac Irwin Fire. Playing alongside other Chicago area talents and Wisconsin targets Wayne Blackshear, Mike Shaw and UW commit George Marshall.

"Everyone around you is good and you have to adapt to it to be successful," Henry said.

Between the gym and the AAU circuit, Henry is going to attempt to make his college decision by the end of summer.

"It's going to be a huge weight off my shoulders," Henry said.


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