MILWAUKEE — The newest member of the Milwaukee Bucks, John Henson, is expected to stand tall on the court, and he already cuts an impressive figure off the floor.
University of North Carolina forward Henson considered entering the NBA Draft last spring, after his sophomore season, but decided to stick around Chapel Hill for another year, and that wasn’t just a basketball decision.
“Staying another year also helped me mature a little bit. I started living off-campus and doing all that, so that helped me out a lot,” Henson said.
Henson has been a standout player since his high school days in the Tampa area, but as his answer about staying in college indicates, he is about more than just what he does on the court.
When Henson plays his professional games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, he won’t only be representing the Bucks, but also, the Henson family.
“There’s two things you have to be aware of. Basketball is something we play, but we are also humans and we want to be respectful and things like that. That’s kind of how we carry ourselves,” Henson said.
“He’s a great role model for me and my sister on the court, obviously, but also how you carry yourself as a person, as a student-athlete. It’s been phenomenal watching him to see how he deals with adversity and all the criticism and all that, and I think that really helped him with what I’m going through also,” Amber Henson said.
Amber Henson was a three-time All-American player herself in high school, but had her freshman season at Duke ruined by a knee problem. She will have four years of eligibility remaining as a Blue Devil.
“When we were a little younger, (basketball games at the Henson house) were a little bit more even. Now, I can still shoot better than him. I take pride in that. That’s kind of how I got my jumper going, because I couldn’t just drive to the basket on him,” Amber Henson said.
“We’d play one-on-one and she had to learn how to get it off, and now she can shoot over the best of them, and it’s a great thing to see,” John Henson said.
It is great for the Henson parents to see where their son and daughter are as players, and as people. There is a younger sister, Jana, coming along as well.
The Henson siblings have a strong relationship, even though John went to North Carolina and Amber attends Duke, and they are on opposite sides of a storied college rivalry.