Henry family out in full force

By David Mitchell, Sports Writer

Oklahoma City Carl Henry was just one of many former Kansas University basketball players cheering for the Jayhawks Thursday against Utah State at Ford Center.

He was, however, the only former Jayhawk sitting with a player being recruited by KU. "I like Kansas a lot," said C.J. Henry, one of the top high school sophomores in the country and the son of the former Kansas shooting guard. "I like Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich. It's fun to watch them play."

The younger Henry likes KU, and Kansas appears to be one of many colleges that are interested in acquiring his services. College coaches can't talk to sophomores directly, but Henry has received letters from Kansas, Oklahoma, Stanford, Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas, Texas Tech and North Carolina, among others.

Of course, KU has at least two advantages in the recruiting department. Carl Henry played for Ted Owens and Larry Brown and was the Jayhawks' leading scorer in both 1982-83 and 1983-84. His wife, the former Barbara Adkins, played for KU's women's team from 1982 to 1985.

Carl and C.J. had planned to attend KU's basketball reunion Feb. 16 in Lawrence, but C.J.'s younger brother, Xavier, was sick, and the family stayed home in Putnam City, Okla.That meant C.J. didn't get to see his first game in Allen Fieldhouse.

"I haven't seen one before," he said. "Dad always tells me how packed it is and how great the atmosphere is. I wanted to go." Henry, 6-foot-3 and still growing, can play either guard spot. He helped Putnam City High to a state runner-up finish in Class 6A this season.

Now he will turn his attention to baseball. A shortstop and pitcher, he made his school's varsity squad as a freshman last year. Henry said he would like to play both sports in college, but he knows that could be difficult because the seasons overlap.

"They might make me choose," the 16-year-old said of the schools recruiting him. "I'd have to think about it long and hard. I'll have to pray about it. I think I'm just as good at both."

In addition to playing baseball, Henry will play plenty of offseason basketball. He'll attend the Nike All-American camp in July in Indianapolis, and his AAU team -- coached by his dad -- will play several tournaments, including the MAYB national tournament in August in Wichita. "We try to fit in what we can," Carl said.

C.J. isn't the only young athlete in the family. Xavier Henry, 11, is already 6-2. "He's good," C.J. said. "Really good."

Source:  KUSports.com  3/21/03