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Henderson snags Female POY

When the Charles Henderson Lady Trojans basketball team hits the court next year a familiar sight will not be on the court. Five-year starter and 2008-09 leading scorer Erica Henderson will no longer be a Lady Trojan.

Henderson averaged 22 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and one block per game for the Lady Trojans in her senior year. Her leadership ability combined with her tenacity to play until the final buzzer helped her grab The Messenger’s 2008-09 All-County Female Basketball Player of the Year award.

“It is a big honor to be named player of the year out of all the great players in the county,” Henderson said.

CHHS head coach Dyneshia Jones said coaching Henderson has been a wonderful time.

“All the years we had Erica were great years,” CHHS head coach Dyneshia Jones said. “To start since eighth grade shows what kind of player she is and we have made the South Regional the past four years in part because of her leadership ability.”

Henderson’s efforts in the 2008-09 campaign also earned her a spot on the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 5A Second Team, but was just happy the team exceeded expectations.

“It was a pretty good all-around year and we made it further than anyone expected us to make it since we were such a young team,” Henderson said. “I think this year made me more of a leader than past years.”

Henderson said with the young team her role as a leader was increased, but she did not flinch at the role.

“This year I had to show more leadership than I had in the previous seasons,” she said. “It was hard and I know at team camp in the summer I got frustrated a lot, but I had to get it in my mind that this year was going to be different than the previous seasons.”

Teams the Lady Trojans played knew the ball would somehow find its way into Henderson’s hands, but she said having a player like sophomore Niara Shipman out on the court with her helped a lot.

“I knew going into the season that the scoring was going to come from me or Niara, but the main thing was to not get frustrated because I felt like the way a lot of our players is determined by how I play,” Henderson said. “If I get frustrated and give up I think they would have too and I didn’t want that to happen.”

Jones said Henderson is one of those players who a coach never has to worry about.

“She is going to always do the right thing and she has never had a problem with her grades,” Jones said. “The only problem I ever had with her is that she was the first in her class. She is a great kid. She has always had everything together out on the court and she was always very mature. She will definitely be missed here at Charles Henderson.”

That maturity helped Henderson to be an extension of Jones on the floor.

“It was good to have a player with the basketball knowledge that Erica had,” Jones said. “There were a lot of things she saw out there I didn’t see and vice versa. We were always talking bout things in the huddle during timeouts.”

Henderson’s time at Charles Henderson is finished and she is now taking visits to colleges and universities to see which institution of higher learning would be the best fit for her.

“I have offers and I have to do visits to look at the campuses to make sure they offer what I want to study,” Henderson said. “I just want to make sure I make the right decision.”