Mancos basketball player to play in Ohio

Nigel Henry excited to compete in upcoming International Sports Festival

Nigel Henry will participate in the USA Junior Nationals International Sports Festival this summer. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Nigel Henry will participate in the USA Junior Nationals International Sports Festival this summer.

To members of the local community, Nigel Henry is a solid basketball player who exudes class on and off the court.

Thus, it is hardly surprising that the soon-to-be senior will represent Colorado in a USA Junior Nationals International Sports Festival this summer.

Scheduled for Columbus, Ohio, July 23-29, the festival hosts teams from across the U.S., as well as a few teams from outside the country.

After an invitation to play in a Junior Nationals all-state game in early May, Henry traveled to Denver and tested his skills against some of the state's best. he then was invited to participate in the Ohio event.

"I've never been to that side of the country before, so I'm kind of nervous," said Henry. "It will be a good opportunity."

Known as an adept passer who has the ability to score off the dribble, Henry averaged 9.3 points per game last season.

As good as his season was, he described the year as a learning experience.

"Individually, it was hard for me to get used to our new offense," said Henry. I was mostly trying to get the ball in to our big men. Toward the end of the year, I started getting my shot back."

A member of the Mancos High School track team, Henry is enjoying solid results in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 5 inches.

"This is my first year on the track team," said Henry. "I'm hoping (high jump) improves my vertical for basketball."

Henry also works hard in the classroom and lists health as his favorite class.

Asked what has allowed him to become a successful student athlete, Henry said that his family was key.

"My grandpa and I were pretty close," said Henry. My grandma and mom and uncles have also helped me. My uncles were big father figures when I was growing up."

Henry also noted that growing up in the close-knit Mancos community has aided in his development.

"I like (Mancos) because everyone here knows each other," he said. "All the fans know me personally, and I know them personally."

On May 10, Henry will host a Navajo Taco Lunch at the Mancos United Methodist Fellowship Hall from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Money raised at the event will be used to defray the cost of Henry's trip to Ohio.

Local sports fans and community members are encouraged to attend.