John Henson Jordan Brand Classic Diary 1
All-American John Henson is digging the Big Apple as he prepares for Saturday.
While he spends the week in New York City preparing for the Jordan Brand Classic, John Henson shares the experience with SLAMonline! Check back all week for more of the latest and greatest in Henson Happenings! And for more on the game, which is this Saturday at Madison Square Garden, visit the game’s official website, nike.com/jumpman23/classic/.
As told to Justin Walsh
What’s up SLAM?
I spent most my Tuesday at ESPN and a lot went down, so let’s jump right in. First we went in there and fooled around, went to the First Take studio. John [Wall] had to do an interview at First Take. After that, we got to eat lunch, which was real nice. We ate with Mike Hill (He’s an ESPN Anchor), so that was good. Afterwards, we took a tour around ESPN, that was fresh. Then we did an online chat with the fans and did an interview with ESPN Rise. For a little while we had some downtime, so we chilled for a bit. ESPNU was having a signing day, and we actually took a tour of that ESPN set, so we walked around there for a bit, then we took some pictures with a few of the guys and girls, that was fun.
Next we did an ESPNU Signing Day interview. That was awesome, I got to put one of those little earpieces in my ear so I could hear people talking; I was feeling pretty cool. But it was a bit weird, because we had to actually sit there and look at the camera—to listen to somebody talk into your ear and answer the questions of the interview while you’re talking into the camera was a little different. Also, there was a TV screen set up of just your feed, so it was hard not to look at that and move around to see yourself do it on screen. It was kind of like blank space, just talking to myself…It was an odd experience. But I can’t complain, it was great to be on ESPN!
One thing I’m really excited about is playing at the Garden. It’s one of the biggest stages to play basketball, so I’m very happy to play in there and be a part of it. I’m just glad I stuck with it. Because I’ve been through a lot of pain, since I went through a big growth spurt in high school and at first I lost some of my athleticism… But now I got it back. In the end it was all worth it; not everybody is able to do all this (play in All-American games, be on ESPN, do a SLAMonline diary), and I get to meet all these great people and gain these connections. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
When it comes to the game, a lot of people are asking me who I want to play against most, but I’ve probably played against most of the guys on the other team. Actually, Daniel Orton has been sitting out this year with an injury, so I’m interested to see what he’s going to do. I was his roommate at the Global Challenge and he’s a real cool dude, so I’m excited to see how he is coming back to the court.
You know how people say NYC is a different place? It is. It’s pretty new to me—I’ve been here maybe one time and that was in 7th grade. We took a bus up there or something like that, I don’t even remember…so this is going to be something new. Like, I’ve been running around, and our hotel? Man, you can almost see the whole city! So I’ve just been looking out the window looking down at the buildings and the streets. That’s one thing I’m pretty intrigued about…I mean, people just don’t sleep here, they’re up at all times of the night! I was up at like 2 in the morning and people were still up walking around.
Another part of NY I need to get used to is the weather. Oh my goodness, it’s day and night. Tampa was sunny and nice, then I get up here with my shorts on, short sleeve shirt—I was freezing while I waited for my ride at the airport! People were looking at me funny, because I had been looking around to see who else was wearing shorts & the only other person was from my flight… So he obviously had the same problem I did! It was freezing, so the second I got to the hotel I changed up a bit. I know Mo Mo Jones [Lamont Jones] is from New York, so I need to talk to him about that New York fashion, get on that real quick.
After this NYC trip and High School ends, I’m just getting prepared for North Carolina—I can’t wait to start the next part of my life. I know Ed Davis decided to come back, we’re going to be tough. YEEEES, I’m excited to be up there and playing basketball with them. Hopefully our guards can play up to that high level with our bigs; if so we can be a really good team. One thing I do know: The weight room is going to be my second home at UNC. Man, I’ll get a bed, a TV, a refrigerator in there, so I can settle in, haha! I’m not going to get too big, though, that’s not the way I’m trying to go. I don’t think I can put on like 50 pounds or anything so I don’t think I’m going to be like Sean May, but I’m going to get bigger.
I know everything about me has been documented lately, but I haven’t really been on the scene too long. When I first committed to North Carolina, I was a top 30 player, then after the summer I just shot up in the rankings. So for the people that have seen me play and know me, thank you all for the support! I’ve been getting a lot of good feedback and advice, so hopefully everything works out and eventually I can get to that next level—the NBA.
Thank you all for reading. Until later, that’s all!