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That roar you might have heard in northwest Tampa earlier tonight emanated from the Green Iguana on Anderson Road.
One of the area's favorite surrogate sons had just been drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Sickles alumnus John Henson, who played his senior year for the Gryphons before going on to North Carolina, became Hillsborough County's highest-drafted basketball player Thursday night, going 14th to the Bucks in the NBA Draft.
"Man, it was surreal," said Gryphons coach Renaldo Garcia, who joined roughly 150 former Gryphons players, students and friends of Henson at the restaurant for a draft party.
"Just a little bit of anxiety at first, because you hear the projections and what not, but you're kind of understanding it's a business now so you don't quite know where he's going to fall. To finally hear his name called and hear the roar in the Green Iguana is something I'll never forget."
A two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Henson (6-foot-10 1/2, 216 pounds) averaged 13.7 points, 2.9 blocks and an ACC-best 9.9 rebounds as a junior this past season. He averaged 17.6 points, 12 rebounds and six steals his lone year at Sickles, to where he transferred after moving with his family from Texas.
"His skill set, I think, is fit for the pros," said Garcia, a former University of Florida guard. "As we saw in the (NBA) finals, it's not like us growing up with what we saw in (Hakeem) Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing. Most guys in the paint these days end up having a different skill set. They have an outside shot and do a lot of pick and pop and things like that. I think his game suits perfectly for the NBA."
Brandon's Jeff Turner was drafted 17th in 1984 by the Nets, while Brandon's Joey Graham went 16th to the Raptors in 2005.
The Bucks went 31-35 this past season.