Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nationally acclaimed hoops star heading to Sickles

John Henson, who has committed to play for North Carolina, is bringing his double-digit scoring and rebounding to Sickles.

KELLY KLINE | Special to the Times

John Henson, who has committed to play for North Carolina, is bringing his double-digit scoring and rebounding to Sickles.

TAMPA — John Henson, a heralded five-star 6-foot-10 power forward and University of North Carolina commit, will enroll at Sickles this week, his father told the Times on Wednesday.

The senior is rated the country's fifth-best member of the 2009 senior class by and is one of only 25 seniors nationally to earn a five-star ranking. Henson is moving from Round Rock, Texas, a suburb of Austin, because his father, Matt, will be taking a job in the Tampa area.

For Sickles, the news gets even better. Henson's sister Amber, a 6-foot-31/2 sophomore forward, also is headed to the school. She has scholarship offers from programs such as Duke, North Carolina and Texas.

As a junior, John Henson averaged double figures in scoring and rebounding despite sustaining a broken nose after reportedly getting elbowed in the face during a game. Before committing to the Tar Heels in January (he was UNC's first commit), Henson also considered Arizona, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and UCLA.

"We're extremely excited to have both of them join our program," Sickles boys coach Renaldo Garcia said.

The family visited the area last week.

"I think (John and Amber) like it," Matt Henson said. "At first they didn't know what to think. But once they got there, they liked it. Now they're excited about it. … It's a nice area. It's a great place to raise a family. Obviously, the Sickles school offers excellent academics and good athletics."

John Henson's addition will strengthen what already figured to be a solid Sickles squad. Junior point guard Jordan Davis is considered a rising star and has received interest from several Division I programs, including Miami.

With the arrival of Henson, Hillsborough County should have one of its top senior classes for boys basketball in recent memory. King forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, Plant guard Sheldon Cooley and Berkeley Prep guard Austin Suarez have D-I scholarship offers.

Hillsborough County has not had a post player with Henson's national reputation since Casey Sanders (who later played for Duke) was at Tampa Prep in the 1990s. The previous decade, Brandon's roster included 7-foot-1 center Dwayne Schintzius, a McDonald's All-American. Garcia and Schintzius were teammates at the University of Florida.

Amber Henson's impact should be equally significant. She averaged 14.5 points, nine rebounds and four blocks as a ninth-grader and was named district newcomer of the year.

"She was the best 3-point shooter on the team, she can handle it, bring it up and down the court and start the transition," Matt Henson said. "She can start the break and she can post up. She's really a (small forward), but she can play four positions."

Nationally acclaimed hoops star heading to Sickles 08/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, August 22, 2008 3:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

  2. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week


    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.