DeAndre Henry Chooses Hardwood Over Gridiron

by Justin Vargas | Posted on Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

Imagine your whole life you were considered one of the top players on a football field. You were dominant and people praised you for being so good and so physically special in a sport that promotes physicality. Then you move into high school and you are pegged as being one of the top offensive linemen in the state. A premium position that has the sole job of protecting the most important player on the field, the quarterback. You play for one of the more prestigious football programs in the state and you eventually get offered numerous scholarships from multiple high-major colleges. It is not rare to hear people say that you have a chance to play the game at a pro level. That you have all the tools to play at the highest of levels.

However, on the side you have this burning, overwhelming passion for a game that you are not physically "made for." You are a little bit heavy and not able to keep the pace to playing such a fast game on a consistent basis. Sure, you have some skill and you bring that same physicality in the sport you stand out more in to this one. And during the off-season you play and you start finding out as you are maturing as a young man that your true passion lies within this sport that no one views you as a stand-out... Yet!

Then you change your lifestyle. You stop eating cakes and sweets and drinking soda. You switched up the weigh room for constant cardio top get your stamina up. You started shredding weight fast and all of a sudden you were now a physical specimen at the sport that you truly love.

You just finished your sophomore season for a team that advanced to the state championship and you were a very good contributor for that squad. You follow up an impressive high school season by playing with one of the top 16U club teams in the state. You have spent your off-season traveling the country and playing the game that you now have a burning desire to perform at a high level in. When your not playing for you travel team, you are doing workouts with you high school coach to now work on the holes in your game. Then you go to the gym after school to get in your extra cardio and weightlifting in.

Now, at 16 years old, you have hit a crossroad in life. Do you stay the course with a sport that you have always been so good at? That you have dominated and gained so much recognition from? Or do you follow your heart and where your true passion and dedication lies and focus on honing your skillset on a game that you have become pretty damn good at? A game you have started to prove you can play at a high level in, and scouts and college coaches alike have watched you play and agreed that indeed, you have some game.

Your name is DeAndre Henry. You are a 6-foot-7 sophomore and a 2-sport athlete at Mountain Pointe High School. You play your AAU ball for Team Harden. You have just made a possible life-altering decision to follow your heart and trust in God that he has led you to the right decision. You have decided to give up football for the beautiful game of basketball.

Henry is widely considered to be a Division-I basketball player down the line. With size and some length, he is a good athlete and seems to be getting a little more bouncy every time I see him. He has a high motor and puts forth maximum effort at all times. He battles for rebounds, he finishes through contact. He dives on the floor for loose balls and is not afraid to mix it up in the paint. It is not hard to tell why he has been considered such a highly-touted offensive linemen on the gridiron. He has work to do on his perimeter game and speeding up his feet to the fast speed of the game at the elite level. But he has a passion. He has a desire to be better. He is more than willing to put in the work.

Henry has shined for a Team Harden team that has went toe-to-toe with some of the West Coast's top 16U AAU programs and had an impressive start to their spring. Henry wants desperately to perform and get his name out there and start getting some of the notoriety he received on the football field, on the basketball court.

He will travel with his team to Atlanta this weekend for the 2nd session of the Adidas Gold Gauntlet. He will play in front of national scouts and college coaches and showcase his effort and talent, fresh after making the decision to dedicate himself to the hardwood.

Congratulations on making such a mature decision for yourself and following your heart. Much love and respect, big fella!

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