C.J. Henry, who orally committed to play basketball at Kansas University in the spring of 2005, only to sign a professional baseball contract as a first-round draft pick of the New York Yankees, has again decided to play hoops.
But this time it's at the University of Memphis, not KU.
Henry, the 22-year-old brother of No. 3-rated high school prospect Xavier Henry, on Tuesday announced he'd be enrolling at Memphis today and play this season for coach John Calipari's Tigers.
Henry chose Memphis over KU and informed Bill Self of his decision Monday night.
"It was the hardest phone call I ever had to make," said Henry, whose scholarship will be paid for by the Yankees, making him a walk-on at Memphis. "I committed to them (Jayhawks). I stayed in contact with them. I still love Kansas - the school, coaches, players.
"It was just that in high school (at Putnam City High in suburban Oklahoma City), that (KU) was the best place for me. Three years down the road, things change. Times change. You grow up and mature. Memphis is now the best fit for me."
Coincidentally, Xavier, a 6-6 guard from Putnam City High, is said to have co-leaders in Memphis and KU with Texas and UCLA also on his list. C.J. says his decision has nothing to do with Xavier, though many recruiting analysts now give the edge to Memphis.
"He'll still take his visit to Kansas. He'll be at Late Night, probably early," C.J. said of Xavier's official trip scheduled for the Oct. 17 Late Night in the Phog. Xavier also has said he'd made an unofficial visit to KU over Sept. 19-20.
"I asked him, 'What do you think about me playing college basketball?' He said, 'You do what you have to do. It's your life,''' C.J. related. "I told him where I'd like to go. I said, 'Do you have a problem with that?' He said, 'I don't care. It's you. Do what you want to do.'
"He will pick the best school for him. This is the best situation for me. If Kansas is the best spot for him, he'll be at Kansas. That's one thing he does not want to do ... ride behind me. He'll do what's best for him."
C.J. said he would play a fifth season in the Yankee organization next spring and summer. He hit .234 in 20 games for Class A Tampa in 2008, his play limited by injuries.
"I believe I am a professional athlete. I know what it takes to get there," C.J. Henry said. "I believe my talent is good enough to be at the next level (NBA). I don't know how long that'll take."
¢ KU freshmen Marcus and Markieff Morris still have not been ruled eligible by the NCAA, thus they've yet to practice in pre-Canada trip workouts. Minus the 6-10 Markieff and 6-81â2 Marcus, KU's big men in camp are Cole Aldrich (6-11), Matt Kleinmann (6-10) and Quintrell Thomas (6-7), meaning a four-guard lineup is likely during KU's three weekend exhibition games. Newcomer Mario Little (6-5) has some experience playing power forward. Freshman Travis Releford also stands 6-5 ... Junior guard Sherron Collins, who is coming off April 22 knee surgery, has been able to practice this week.