Getting to Know The 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: Xavier Henry
March 4, 2009 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
What does it feel like to be selected to this team?
I was just happy that I was recognized as one of the top basketball players in the country and named to the team. It made me and my family happy.
Who are you most looking forward to playing with?
Pretty much all of them because I know all of them from the summer circuit. We are all pretty good friends. We should have some good chemistry because nobody on this team is a selfish ball-hog or anything.
From the Sideline
'Xavier has a complete game offensively. He can score from behind the arc, he can penetrate to the rim, he can create for himself and he can create for others. He has a strong jumpshot inside the arc. We many times, because of match ups, post him up, so he can post up and score as well. And he is really quick off his feet around the rim both for offensive putbacks and defensive rebounding. He is just a phenomenal athlete. He has a very high basketball IQ as well, and he understands the game. I believe like Bill Russell once said, 'great players make other players better.' I think that fits Xavier pretty well.
'He is just a great kid. I have had him since he was a ninth grader, and I knew him when he was in middle school. I had his older brother C.J. Henry. He just comes from a great family, and his parents are great people. He is an excellent student. He has about a 3.8 GPA. He takes leadership classes, and he participates in multiple activities. He is very well liked by the student body. He is very articulate, very friendly. It's not all basketball with him. He loves to play games. He loves to go bowling. He is just a great ambassador for high school basketball and for any student-athlete.'
- A.D. Burtchi, head coach
Have you ever played international basketball before?
This last summer, me and eight or 10 Nike guys went and played in Brazil. That's the only time I've played international basketball. It was different, because the lines on the court and stuff were different, but it was still just as fun. And it was fun playing against players we had never seen before.
How would you describe you game?
I'm just a talented scorer. I like to score any way that I can. Outside, inside, off of rebounds, I just like to score. I like to win a lot, so I'm very competitive. I don't just lay down easy.
What area of your game are you most focused on improving right now?
Keeping my mind focused on defense. I'm pretty good at defense when I want to be, when I'm going against somebody who's competitive like me and we are going back and forth. But when it is somebody who is not as good, I don't really focus as much on defense. I've got to keep my head focused on defense, playing it all the time.
What is your least favorite workout or drill?
Probably these running drills my coach has us do. It's called the ladder. It's just a whole bunch of running and all these different lines you have to touch.
What motivates you?
Just to be better than the person on the left and right of me. To stay better and to keep getting better as I go, so I will be ready for college.
Winning our next six games and winning the state championship. We have had lot of good practices lately, and we just have to keep our intensity up in practice and hopefully end the season the right way.
Probably winning the state championship my freshman year. That was one of the happiest times in high school. I got tournament MVP.
Being able to play at least one game in my life with my brother (C.J. Henry). As soon as he got out of high school, that's when I came in to high school. He was always my motivation, and he taught me a whole bunch about my game, making me better, and I just want to play with him and see what that would be like.
Did you watch the 2008 Olympics? What was your favorite moment?
Probably how Kobe and LeBron and all those big stars worked together for one goal. How they just wanted to win and no matter who got the shot. That was the biggest thing for me.