Get to Know MSU Men's Basketball Recruit Aaron Henry

Nov 9, 2017

Aaron Henry is one of the latest recruits for the Michigan State Class of 2018 from Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The 6-foot-5, 200-pound small forward was originally born in Louisville, Kentucky.  Via Twitter, Henry announced that he committed to Michigan State and he is confident that he made the right decision. Henry has always dreamed of playing college basketball and Michigan State was his dream school.

Henry played in the Adidas Summer Gauntlet Games this year and after performing well (averaging 21 ppg) he received many college offers, including one from Michigan State.  Despite contrary belief, even though Henry is a three-star recruit according to 247Sports Composite. The 2018 Michigan State recruiting class is projected to be one of the best classes in the country.

Henry took some time to answer some questions from our own Carina Garcia about basketball and his commitment to Michigan State.

Q: When and how did you begin playing basketball?

A: “It all started in my grandmother’s backyard.  My grandma bought us a goal and me and my brother started shooting on it.  He was always trying to guide me and tell me how to put the ball in the bucket.  He was really the one to put the ball in my hands, but over time different people have been helping me out throughout my life.  I’m just glad I am who I am today.”      

Q: What does basketball mean to you?

A: “Basketball is my life.  I mean, I put my life into this.  Missing hanging out with your friends and not being able to do certain things off the court because you’re on the court, it’s a huge sacrifice.  But, what I want out of it requires that.  If I could do it again, I’d do it all over again.”

Q: Are you excited for your senior year season?

A: “Yea! I am excited.  It’s my last high school season.  Obviously winning the state championship last year was a lot of fun.  A lot of people tell me to enjoy this time because it’s different in college and I’m starting to see it a little bit.  But, I just want to enjoy it, hopefully repeat, and have fun.”

Q: How have you been preparing for it? What are your goals for the year?

A: “I’m trying to work out harder and become a better leader.  We lost five seniors last year so our high school coaches expect a lot out of me on and off the court to be a leader and guide the young people on the team in the right way.  My biggest goal is to just repeat.  Us winning the state championship last year shocked everybody.  I think we’re going to be picked pretty high this year to at least contend for it.  But, at the end of the day, we’re going to be the underdogs just because we’re Ben Davis.  But, I’m fine with it.  We were the underdogs last year and we won it all.”

Q: You helped lead Ben Davis to a state title in Indiana.  What was that experience like?

Ben Davis' Aaron Henry signs with Michigan State University on Wednesday evening.
Credit Aaron Henry

  A: “It was unreal.  A lot of people expected us to just win sectionals and lose in regionals to North Central.  They were the number one team and we lost twice to them already.  We didn’t have a lot of favorites in that, but we always believed and looked at it as this could be our last game.  We didn’t want it to be our last game so we went out and played like that.”

Q: You received the majority of your offers after tearing it up in the Adidas Summer Gauntlet Games.  What were those games like and did you expect to perform so well?

A: “All of June I worked out extremely hard.  Our coach gets us into the gym at six in the morning and we leave at like ten.  On other days we would come in from eight to ten and then come back in at night from five to seven.  It was a rough June for me, but I got a lot better.  I mean a lot better than what I was before in the spring.  I just had time to work on game and perform.  I was expecting to just go out there and help lead my team to win when we were out in Vegas.  Glad I did better and glad the coaches liked what they saw.”

Q: Believe it or not, despite being a four-star recruit on Rivals.com and ESPN, you are the lowest ranked recruit in the class.  Do you feel they are wrong? Why or why not? Do you feel you now have something to prove?

A: “I don’t really pay too much attention to the rankings.  I never got too much love from that anyways.  That’s fine with me.  If they want to think that, that’s fine.  I’m just here to work.  I’m here to get better. I’m here to be the best player I can be.  I’m glad to be a part of Michigan State’s class and they’ll see.  It’s ok though, I’m not too upset about it.”

Q: Why did you decide to commit to Michigan State?

A: “It’s a dream school.  Everybody wants to play for Tom Izzo.  He’s one of the best coaches in the game.  I know they put a lot of big players at my position in the league and they’ve had a lot of successful players like me.  So I just can’t thank them enough for giving me the opportunity they have.”

Q: How do you feel knowing you’ll be coached by Tom Izzo, a hall of fame coach?

A: “It’s a blessing.  Not many people can say that and people would kill to be in the position I am in today.  It took me a while to realize that with the magnitude of my offers that I had going into my senior year and while having to pick and choose, that nobody was really on Tom Izzo’s level.  They say he’s one of the greatest coaches in the game and I’ve been watching that my whole life.  I’m just proud to be a part of it.  I can’t wait to be coached.”

Q: Why do you think Michigan State showed interest in you?

A: “I mean, I played tough all summer.  Not even on the offensive end, but on the defensive end.  Just because of the intangible things that made me the player I am really.  I don’t have to put numbers up on the stat sheet to affect the game.”          

Q: What other schools showed interest in you?

A: “My final five were Illinois, Michigan State, Butler, Xavier, and Ohio State.  Outside of that it was Missouri, TCU, Washington State, UConn, Nebraska, Indiana University, and Virginia Tech among many others.”

Q: How do you feel playing at Ben Davis has helped prepared you for playing D1 basketball at Michigan State?

A: “I have one of the best coaches in the high school business that’s been doing it.  He’s been in the game for 40 years and he’s put a lot of people in college.  He has a good resume for people who want to come play for him or people that can vouch for him.  And I can be one of those people who can vouch for him saying that he’s changed my game, he’s changed me as a person, and without him I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”

Q: How do you plan to prepare for the level of play at MSU?

A: “All I hear is that is just a different level.  It’s a different speed and a different level of physicality.  I feel like I’m prepared for that.  I feel like I held my own when I went up there for my official visit and I played at the gym.  I feel like I’m prepared for it physically, but skills wise? I mean, it’s a different game there, but I’ll adjust.”      

Q: Are you excited to play at and attend Michigan State? If so, why?

A: “I’m really excited.  Just to be a part of that means a lot to anybody really.  Not many people get the opportunity that I have.  I cannot wait to sign in November and I cannot wait to get up there.  I just want to win, become the best player I can be, achieve my goals, hopefully make it to the pros, just work hard, out-work everybody, and prove my believers right.”

Q: What would you want Spartan Nation to know about you or do you have anything to say to them?

A: “I’m glad to be here.  I can’t wait to get up there and be a part of Spartan nation and be a Spartan dog for life.  I love it.  I cannot wait.  I think about it every day.”

The Ben Davis boy’s basketball team will open the season with a road non-conference game at Indianapolis Northwest in Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday, November 25th at 2pm.  Henry averaged 14.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists as a junior last season for Ben Davis.  He was a key player on the Ben Davis team that won the state championship last season.  Now going into his senior year, he showed a lot of excitement and hopes to win another championship.