On June 24, Rip City said ‘au revoir’ to a certain veteran French small forward and hello to a duo of mixed talent who have both spent their NBA careers in Charlotte, North Carolina. One of those players, the more experienced and more instantly capable of the two, is Jerome McKinley Henderson, Jr; better known as, simply, Gerald Henderson.
Henderson attended Duke University, where he played alongside ex-Trail Blazers Nolan Smith & Elliot Williams. After leading Duke to a 2nd seed ranking in the 2009 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, the Blue Devils were eliminated in the Round of 16 by Villanova, lead by another ex-Blazer, Dante Cunningham.
Henderson declared for the 2009 NBA Draft, leaving Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils as a Junior. The star Blue Devil shooting guard was selected 12th overall by the Larry Brown’s Charlotte Bobcats.
The 2011-2012 NBA season was a bit of a breakout season for Henderson who had career highs in minutes (33.3), FG% (45.9%), rebounds per game (4.1), assists per game (2.3), and points per game (15.1). Despite the Bobcats finishing what would be the worst season record-wise in NBA history, Henderson was a bright point for a struggling team.
The 6’5″ McDonald’s All-American began to mold himself an explosive style of offense that was equal-parts attacking the rim and pulling up beautiful mid-range jump shots. His athleticism, from his days as a high school track star, is undeniable. I mean, this guy is notorious for putting opposing defenders on posters:
How’s that for an athlete? The new-look style of the Portland Trail Blazers is going to require fast, athletic players, much like the exciting, explosive, high-pace games that both the Golden State Warriors & Phoenix Suns play. Henderson fits that mold perfectly, adding in the fact that his defense isn’t too shabby either, I’d considering average to slightly above average, but that’s not why we traded for him. Henderson is a personable guy who brings us another fun Instagram/Twitter personality to follow, following the departure a previous fan-favorite.
His explosive style and high-energy take on basketball is what will eventually make Gerald Henderson a common favorite among fans. His work ethic, desire to improve, appetite for victory, and positive attitude is what will make Gerald Henderson a vital piece of the Portland Trail Blazers rotation.