Xavier Henry to skip summer school, will report to KU's campus in August

Friday, June 12, 2009

Incoming Kansas University freshman basketball player Xavier Henry won’t be attending summer school after all, coach Bill Self said Thursday.

Henry — who had his braces removed from his teeth earlier this week — needs a root canal and some other dental work and has decided to condition in his hometown of Oklahoma City with a personal trainer.

The 6-foot-6 McDonald’s All-American will report to KU’s campus in August with his brother, KU walk-on C.J. Henry.

“The most important time for him to be here this summer is first term when all the players are here. He’d have a hard time doing that with the situation he’s dealing with his mouth,” Self said. “We understand. I know he’ll be working on his own.”

C.J. Henry, a 6-3 guard who cracked a bone in his foot last year as a freshman at Memphis, is also rehabbing in OKC.

Carl Henry, father of the Henrys, said in a phone interview Thursday that C.J. should begin running next week and will be full speed when he reports to KU.

“One thing you have to remember about C.J. is the Yankees (who C.J. signed with in 2005) pay tuition for two semesters, not summer school,” Self said. “So he would have had to pay his own way.

“Hopefully he’ll be cleared (physically for full scrimmaging) in a month or so. They’ll both be here (in August) ready to go.”

Back in Oklahoma City, Carl Henry said Thursday he was fine with the decision of Xavier to not report to KU until August.

“I mean if it’s OK with coach Self, it’s OK with me. He told coach last night,” Carl said. “I encouraged him to go to summer school because everybody is there. But the way I look at it is C.J. and Xavier will be working out with the same guy who gets them in shape every year. Both will be in tip-top shape when they get to KU.

“I started watching the workouts yesterday,” Carl added of Xavier’s work with the trainer. “Xavier does three to four hours a day several days a week. They’ll both be in great shape.”

Carl said in weeks since Xavier’s April 23 commitment to KU, he looked into the possibility of Xavier playing in Europe for a year before heading to the NBA Draft.

That will not happen.

Carl said Xavier had a recent conversation with former prep standout Brandon Jennings, who, instead of going to college, played in Europe last season in advance of the 2009 NBA Draft. Jennings is expected to be a lottery pick. That conversation had Xavier a bit more curious about the European option.

“They (European team) could get him $1 million a year,” Carl said. “But he’s not interested in that. He needs instruction and you don’t get that overseas. Overseas they put you in and want you to score. There’s no talk of Europe at all. He and C.J. are 100 percent coming to Kansas.”

In a text message to Rivals.com, Xavier indicated he was sold on attending KU a year and there were no other options being considered.