The NBA Draft process is a once in a lifetime experience for those who go through it. While there are many broad similarities between the experiences of players during this process – like hectic travel schedules and grueling pre-draft training – each player takes something different away from the process. I decided to talk to 10 different eligible prospects to ask them all the same set of questions to use as a means of comparing their experiences.
Up first is John Henson out of North Carolina. Henson thought about entering the draft last year but decided to return for his junior season at UNC in hopes of winning the national title. While the team fell short of that goal, Henson had a very good year individually. He showed off a much improved offensive game to go along with his defensive abilities, which led to him being named ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row. After another successful season, Henson took the leap to the NBA, and is now a projected lottery pick.
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Dime: Where did you do your pre-draft training?
John Henson: I trained in Houston, Texas with John Lucas.
Dime: Describe an average day during pre-draft training.
JH: Wake up at 7 a.m., and get to the gym at about 8, and had a shooting workout from 8 ’till 9. Then on Monday and Wednesday we would have Yoga at 9 and the rest of the days we did skill work from around 9 ’till 11:30. Then we had a break for lunch and to rest, then we would lift and get back on the court at 2:30 or 3:30, and after that we were done. So the training was really the whole day.
Dime: What was your diet like the last two months?
JH: Nothing really changed over the last two months. I’m not a diet guy, I’m not a guy that needs to be on a diet, I need to put on some weight, so I just ate everything I usually ate, I didn’t change anything.
Dime: What area of your game do you think you improved the most during the last two months?
JH: Definitely my attacking ability. I wasn’t always that aggressive in college so just learning when to attack and how to be aggressive offensively I think is the biggest thing I improved.
Dime: What do you think the one thing is about you that stood out to teams during these workouts?
JH: I definitely think it was my skills and my versatility. There are a lot of things I can do on the basketball court, and I’m not going to say I’m the most skilled guy out there, but I think teams may have been surprised to see just how many different things I could do as a player. I’m very versatile and I think the number of things I do well stood out.
Dime: Who was the toughest player you had to guard in a workout?
JH: everybody in the workouts is talented, so nobody was any tougher than anybody else. It wasn’t too tough for me to guard anyone during the process.
Dime: What was the weirdest interview question you got?
JH: Probably, ‘If you had a game in Miami the next day and everybody was going out at 2 a.m. on South Beach, would you go out with them?’ I thought that was pretty weird.
Dime: What was your worst flight experience?
JH: Flying to Sac (Sacramento). It was a smooth ride for about an hour and everybody was knocked out and then we started to hit this rough patch cause of weather. There was rain pelting the plane and there was lightning. It was pretty crazy, the rain was hitting the windows and everybody woke up and was kind of moving around. It was an experience but we got through it so it turned out okay.
Dime: What’s the nicest hotel you stayed in?
JH: The one in Toronto was really nice, I’m not sure what it was about it that I liked so much, but it just had a great feel to it and it’s hard to explain, but I definitely liked that one.