Deandre Henry is about 40 pounds lighter, runs the court better, and possesses a nasty streak on the glass at 6 feet, 7 inches.
But as he plays June games for Phoenix Mountain Pointe, the junior-to-be still is waiting for his first Division I basketball offer. He is on the radar. But it’s not like it was for football.
After just finishing up his freshman school year, in a two-day span, Henry picked up football scholarship offers from Arizona State, Memphis and Kansas State.
Henry possesses the kind of athleticism and height and toughness at offensive tackle that are hard to come by and have college coaches searching the country to find.
However, on April 24, just before the start of spring football at Mountain Pointe under new coach Rich Wellbrock, Henry posted a letter on Twitter that he was “putting my football career aside and pursuing my love and passion for basketball.”
Later in the letter, he wrote, “It was a very difficult decision to make as a 16-year-old, but I had to make it. I wish Mountain Pointe football a successful season and I will be there to support.”
It didn’t stop the football recruiters.
Three weeks ago, Henry said he heard from national champion Alabama, how it wanted to come in and film him. He had to say he wasn’t playing anymore.
On Saturday, in the Powerhouse Hoops tournament at Chandler Prep, Henry was tearing down rebounds and helping Mountain Pointe in games against a team from New Mexico and Surprise Paradise Honors.
“I have a lot of passion for it,” he said. “I fell in love with the game in the seventh grade.
“I’ve been playing football for so long, since like first, second grade. I ended up saying, ‘I’m going to just switch to basketball and leave football.’ I can always go back to football if basketball doesn’t work out. But I’m praying every day that basketball does work out and I make it.”