In a newfound sports world in which players will perform inadequately, even with the incentive of multi-million dollar contracts, it's refreshing to gaze into the TV screen to watch a young player venture into the sports world with a intense passion for his or her sport.
When kids come into a draft, regardless of sport, showing their true colors of laziness and inability to focus on what lies ahead—they still get paid huge contracts based on raw talent, despite traits.
Xavier Henry, shooting guard from Kansas, is not included in that ever-growing group of prospects.
Henry, 19, has foregone his final three years of college in order to declare for the 2010 NBA Draft. Many would speak of this as a mistake on Henry's part, saying he isn't mature enough and still needs time to prepare.
In interview with DraftExpress (which is posted in the comments section) Henry was proposed the question, "Despite the fact that you were a freshman and you're one of the youngest guys in the draft, people look at you as a very safe pick and a very polished player, and they and they say that maybe you don't have the upside of some of the other freshman in this class; do you think that those are fair assumptions to make?"
In response Xavier said, "I think I got a ton of upside. I work hard everyday and I do the best I can and I try to play overall game and yeah, I'm one of the youngest, but I got a pretty mature game and I'm a smart player, I know what I want to do."
The Kansas product also stated that he was prepared for the challenges that lie ahead, saying that he was prepared "to get comfortable being uncomfortable."
Several times throughout the interview, with a bright smile, Henry implied that he wanted to improve all aspects of his game and continue becoming a better player and person.
In his lone collegic year, Henry averaged 13.4 points-per-game with a stellar .458 field goal percentage and a .418 three point percentage.
The former Jayhawk is projected going in the top 20 overall, occasionally the top 10, in all the mock drafts I have read.
The 6'6", 220 pound shooting guard's youth can work to his advantage in several ways.
One, he will have more time in the NBA to play. Henry already stated he wants to become an instant contributor, and has a reason with his electrifying skills.
Two, his athleticism will have an extra notch above the rest with less wear-and-tear and more explosiveness off the ball.
And three, his work ethic seems humbled to the point of a little kid wanting to learn something new everyday. No matter what, Henry wants to succeed and lead by example.
Some of the future draftees should take notes on Xavier Henry, not only skill-wise but personality and trait-wise. With his skill set and work ethic, Henry can become one of the NBA's brightest shining stars.
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