2011-12 Girls basketball player of the year

Marvin Ridge’s Henry reached rarified air

by Aaron Garcia

Jordan Henry, a senior forward, averaged over 13 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks per game for the Marvin Ridge girls basketball team. Aaron Garcia/UCW photo

Entering the 2011-12 basketball season, Marvin Ridge senior girls star Jordan Henry had already carved out an intimidating reputation as Union County’s preeminent post presence. Standing 6 foot 3, Henry averaged 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks per game last season as a junior.

This season, however, Henry’s reputation changed a bit from being simply the area’s top frontcourt player to a top-flight, all-around talent who could do it all. Sure, she still controlled the lane with her per-game averages of 13.9 points, 15.3 rebounds and 6.3 blocks, but she also chipped in 3.8 assists and 4.3 steals. That well-rounded approach to the game made her the choice for Union County Weekly’s 2011-12 Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Henry, who has signed with New York’s Iona College, said she had a few goals entering the season. She hoped to eclipse the 1,000-points plateau for her career, which she accomplished in January. Henry also wanted to notch a triple-double, which she managed when she poured in 15 points and collected 16 rebounds and 10 blocks in the Mavs’ first-round playoff loss to Charlotte Harding, the eventual Class 3A state champs.

But perhaps most important, Henry wanted the status as the county’s best player.

“(The county’s best player should be) a versatile player, someone who can, especially at my size, be able to shoot from the outside and (have) ball-handling (skills), just (being) an all-around player,” she explained. “My stats throughout (the season) – points, assists, steals, blocks and rebounds – I was in every category.

“That tends to get people’s attention when they see a 6-3 girl at the top of the stats in assists and steals. I haven’t seen that before, especially in high school, and that’s what I’m proud of.”

But what truly made Henry’s season remarkable was her work down the stretch. While expanding her skills, Henry remained the county’s stingiest gatekeeper by averaging 19.8 rebounds and 7.4 blocks in the last nine games of the season while also posting 15.2 points, 4.2 assists and 4.6 steals per game. The tear was highlighted by a 24-point, 21-rebound, nine-block performance (which included five assists and six steals) against Parkwood on Jan. 24. She also pulled down 28 rebounds in a single game against Sun Valley and 24 against archrival Weddington.

“I had conversations with my coach (Dwight Miller) about it,” said Henry. “He wanted me to step up and take over. I’ve always been the kind of player to help my teammates out and get everyone involved, so I had to kind of change my whole personality around and just take over. I felt that was what I needed to do.”

Though she said she was pleased with her progress this year, there is one statistic that really jumps out to Henry: her 150 blocks on the season, which, according to maxpreps.com, led the state.

“That sticks out in my mind,” said Henry. “I think I changed a lot of shots as well, even if I didn’t block it. I love seeing that.”

Some things never change.

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