2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
Ask Xavier Henry to describe his game on the basketball court, and his answer is suprisingly direct. The 6-5 forward will tell you his is a talented scorer who hates to lose. It just may be that confidence that has helped earn him one of 10 coveted spots

Getting to Know The 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: Xavier Henry

March 4, 2009 - Colorado Springs, Colo.

Ask Xavier Henry (Putnam City H.S. / Oklahoma City, Okla.) to describe his game on the basketball court, and his answer is suprisingly direct. The 6-5 forward will tell you his is a talented scorer who hates to lose. And it just may be that confidence that has earned him one of 10 coveted spots on the 2009 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team.
 
Henry will have the opportuntity to test his game against the world's best 19-and-unders on April 11 in Portland, Ore., in the 12th annual Nike Hoop Summit, but before he does, he talked with USABasketball.com about his offense, his defense and his family ties to the University of Memphis.

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
Putnam City High School

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 no
t 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.

You're headed into the final games of high school. How would you like to finish the season?
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.
 
*Henry tallied 24 points to help lead Putnam City (25-4) past Jenks High School 72-48 to capture the 2009 6A Oklahoma state title on March 14. From the Oklahoman
 
What is your favorite high school memory?
Probably winning the state championship my freshman year. That was one of the happiest times in high school. I got tournament MVP.
Why did you pick the University of Memphis?
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.
 
*C.J. Henry is currently a freshman at Memphis, however, he played three years of minor league baseball following his 2005 graduation from Putnam City High School.

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.