Nick Hendra Discusses College Decision

Scout.com's Brian Towey of the High School New York/New Jersey website has an interview with respected recruit Nick Hendra ...

It's been a whirlwind couple of months for Nick Hendra. Entering the summer as a CHSAA sleeper out of New York City's Xavier High School, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard watched his stock rise dramatically.

After entering July with one Division I scholarship offer, he ambled out of the live period with double-digit offers and a most desirable problem. By that point it wasn't a matter of gaining exposure, but trimming down a growing list of suitors.

While the experience was exhilirating, Hendra, who made a commitment to American University this week, was ready to put the sometimes bewildering process behind him.

"Getting recruited is a great experience," said Hendra, who played with the Westchester Hawks this summer. "It only happens once: you only commit once, you only sign once. During the summer, when I wasn't playing, it was fun to be wanted, to get people's attention. But it would get stressing, especially toward September when I was deciding where I wanted to visit and ultimately where I wanted to go. I had a lot of people talking to me, and as you said to me on Tuesday, I was thoroughly confused."

Hendra had received widespread interest from the Ivy League, Patriot League, MAAC, and America East Conferences. Recently, Fordham, St. Joseph's, and East Carolina had begun to sniff around. But ultimately, it came down to finding a good fit, and a place where he would have an opportunity to contribute early.

"I think I could have played at Fordham or St. Joseph's, but there's a big difference between playing and coming in and having an impact," said Hendra. "I'd rather be an impact player, and I felt like American University, as a program, and the Patriot League as a conference, were places where I could do that.

"I'm going to be able to play right away. The coaching staff expressed to me that they want me to come in and be a scorer right away. That's a challenge and a responsibility that I'm looking forward to taking on as a freshman."

For Hendra, a native of Manhattan, going to school near a big city held an appeal. It didn't hurt that American has a guy that can get him the rock, either.

"Derrick Mercer, their point guard, was the Patriot League Rookie of the Year," said Hendra. "I'm looking forward to playing alongside him."

American assistant Kieran Donohue, an alumnus of Regis High School, went back to his CHSAA roots to pick up a player who should develop into a strong contributor for Coach Jeff Jones. Hendra boasts a Division I ready body, good size on the wing, strength, athleticism, and toughness. He's an unselfish player who blends well (can almost be too deferential at times), and he shoots the ball with range. He has a well-rounded game and a high IQ.

Hendra averaged around 16 points, seven rebounds, and four assists as a junior at Xavier for Coach Joe McGrane.

A bright and engaging young guy, Hendra should be a welcome addition to the American community.


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