Friar Basketball

On LaDontae Henton’s Future, Past

hentonshooting

News broke earlier this week that the Los Angeles Clippers signed LaDontae Henton to a training camp deal, which led some in Friartown to reflect on the special career the Michigan native had at Providence.

Henton was the first recruit to commit to Ed Cooley at Providence. He had just wrapped up a high school career in which he scored over 2,000 points and grabbed 1,300 rebounds, but found himself back on the market in the spring of his senior year after Dayton head coach Brian Gregory departed for Georgia Tech.

Then-Friar assistant Bob Simon pounced. Henton was on campus shortly after, and Cooley sold his vision to him.

At the time Providence hadn’t made an NCAA Tournament in nearly a decade, and hadn’t gone to the NCAAs in back to back seasons in 25 years.

“When I came on my visit there was just something about coach (Cooley). He has this charisma about him and I could see myself playing for him for four years. I trusted in him and believed in what he was telling me,” Henton shared with me at PC’s Media Day prior to the start of his senior season.

“He’s been in my life for the better. I was his first recruit, so I trusted him and believed in him, and he did that in turn with me. For that, I have a bond with him that is going to last forever,” said Henton of Cooley.

By the time Henton graduated he was a Big East champion, a leader of two NCAA Tournament teams, and one of only two players in school history to score 2,000 points with 1,000 rebounds.

He was a double double machine as a freshman. That year he broke PC’s freshman single game scoring record with 33 points, and helped the Friars defeat a UConn team featuring Andre Drummond and Shabazz Napier with two late 3-pointers.

He came up big again as a freshman with 24 points, 15 rebounds, and a game-saving block against DePaul.

Of course, his most clutch shot came in the 2014 Big East Championship.

Without LaDontae Henton, there’s no way Providence is in the midst of four straight NCAA Tournament appearances — now a huge selling point for the program.

And Henton hasn’t been shy about selling PC to top recruits.

On sheer statistics alone, Henton is an all-time Friar, but his impact on the program went far beyond the numbers.

Here’s a look back at his senior season.

Twitter: @Kevin_Farrahar

Email: kevin.farrahar@friarbasketball.com

One Comment

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