Development Details: Versatile Three-Star Forward Aaron Henry

Stu Jackson, Staff Writer
The Hoosier

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Stu Jackson /

Class of 2018 three-star Indianapolis Ben Davis forward Aaron Henry has a handful of high-major interest from Big Ten and Big East programs, but that could soon change.

Henry’s versatility on both ends of the court makes him an intriguing in-state prospect. He and his AAU head coach, Omar Dillard of Indiana Pros, plan to experiment with that during his development this spring and summer.

“He can do so many things, man,” Coach Dillard said.

Henry has offers from Northern Kentucky, Bradley, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Toledo, Indiana State, Ball State and IUPUI with Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Butler and Xavier showing recent interest. Indiana's previous coaching staff had also shown interest.

Coach Dillard, who has coached Henry since he was in fourth grade, said Henry could play the power forward position at the mid-major level, but the goal during AAU season will be to turn him into a high-major small forward while also getting some time at the point guard position.

“He rebounds the crap out of the ball, he can defend multiple positions, but he can [also] score,” Coach Dillard said. “He’s ambidextrous [as well]. The point, we’ve still got a ways to go, but he needs work there.”

During his junior season, Ben Davis head coach Mark James had him play mostly inside as a post player. Henry handled the role well, averaging a team-high 14.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while shooting from 3-point range. He was also the only junior in the starting lineup.

Henry found his voice within the group, telling his maturity and shot selection both grew the most over the course of his junior season.

“Making sure I gather my teammates when we get a bucket to get back on defense,” Henry said. “Don’t fiddle with the ball with the in front court. Making sure I help my team in ways that I can.”

Leading by example through that accountability helped Ben Davis win 15 consecutive games en route to the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Class 4A state title.

Throughout the season, Henry said he and James would work together on both perimeter and post play.

“If a guy’s smaller than me, I’ll go to the block, or if a guy’s taller than me, I’ll take him out to the perimeter and use my skills there,” Henry said. “Those are some things that Coach James and I work on frequently. We don’t just zero in on one area.”

That will also be the plan moving forward with Coach Dillard this spring and summer.

Coach Dillard said Henry has the length, speed and athleticism to play the small forward position at the high-major level. Getting to that level means continuing to develop his perimeter skills and his motor.

“A lot of people want to see me shoot off the dribble more, shoot more threes,” Henry said. “Getting to the basket is one of my stronger things that I do, but they want me to shoot more threes, shoot off the dribble.”

“I think he’s really picked up his motor, and I think that started up here, mentally,” Coach Dillard said. “His motor is really starting to come along now, because the tools are there.”


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