Henry's son just like dad

Former Jayhawk, touted offspring in town

By Gary Bedore, Assistant Sports Editor

Sunday, February 16, 2003

At the age of 42, former Kansas University guard Carl Henry still knows how to put the ball in the basket.  He proves that regularly during pick-up games with one of the best high school sophomores in the country -- his son, 6-foot-3 C.J. Henry of Putnam City High in Oklahoma.

"The last time we played was a couple of weeks ago and he beat me, 21-18," Henry said, chuckling. "He can score. Yes, he can score. He's quick, can play defense and learns fast, too."  The younger Henry averages 19.9 points a game for Putnam City.  Like father, like son.

Carl Henry played two years for the Jayhawks (1983 and 1984) after transferring from Oklahoma City Junior College, averaging 17.4 points per game as a junior and 16.8 as a senior.

Both Henrys are in town this weekend for KU's 105th year of basketball reunion. For one weekend, however, it will be 16-year-old C.J. hearing about exploits of his dad, not dad listening to college coaches and Putnam City fans gush about Henry's son.  "My kids know about my career because of stuff I've got around the house -- books and clippings. They don't have a choice," Carl quipped.

Henry's wife is the former Barbara Adkins, who played on the KU women's team from 1982-85.  Henry is president of Peach Valley Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides basketball opportunities for children in the summer. He has coached his son's team the past several years.

"I go out and raise money in the winter and the teams go out and play tournaments in the summer," he said. "What we do is go out and find kids that don't have the money to pay for uniforms and stuff. We put them on teams and get them ready for the summer.

"A lot of kids don't make their high school teams. They don't have an opportunity to play. We go to YMCAs and rec centers and some schools and provide a place they can play."

A lot of recruiters are already wondering where Henry's son will play college ball. "It's too early. He's just a sophomore. Coaches can't talk to him now. He isn't even thinking about that now," Henry said.  C.J. Henry also plays baseball as a pitcher and shortstop.

"He's got a fastball, curveball and he can hit," Henry said. "He likes both and can play both. Eventually, he may have to (play baseball)."  C.J. has already toured KU's campus with his dad, but has yet to formulate any official college list. His dad has certainly touted Mount Oread.  "What I remember the most is Allen Fieldhouse," Henry said. "I think anybody who has played there has great memories of Allen Fieldhouse. Coach (Ted) Owens and (Larry) Brown were great teachers.

"Coach Brown ... I remember he kicked us all out of practice one time," Henry said, laughing. "Coach Brown was straight up with you. He didn't joke around. Coach Owens ... he'd give you a couple chances (before exploding).

Owens, who lives in Tulsa, is here for the reunion but Brown, coach of the NBA Philadelphia 76ers, couldn't make it.  "I love these reunions," Henry said. "What I enjoy is reminiscing with people you get to see."  Henry, who scored 1,044 points during his two-year stint as a Jayhawk, played pro basketball in Italy, France and Belgium for several years.  "I was able to score, but I remember it being hard work," Henry said. "That's what I remember. Hard work."