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Friday, February 29, 2008

Where are they now? Duez Henderson

Duez Henderson played forward for the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1998 to 2002. Duez played during the last year for then Iowa coach Dr. Tom Davis as a freshman, steroid syringe size then spent his remaining three years playing for Steve Alford at Iowa. Duez had his most productive season individually as a sophomore in the 1999-2000 season when he averaged 7.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. As a junior, Duez scored 6.3 points per game and helped Iowa to a 23-12 Aristocort A cream overall record and the 2001 Big Ten Tournament Championship. The Hawkeyes received an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and eventually lost to Kentucky in the 2nd round. Iowa almost did the trick of winning four games in four days at the Big Ten Tournament again in Duez’s senior year of 2001-2002, but the Hawkeyes lost on Sunday to Ohio State in the Championship and earned a berth to the NIT.

After his college career, Duez Henderson started playing professionally overseas in Germany. He has played professionally for 6 years and currently serves as Player/Coach for USC Leipzig. During his professional career, Duez has led his team in scoring and rebounding four times.

During the off-seasons, Duez can be seen participating in the Prime Time Summer League competing against other former and current Hawkeyes. He also owns and operates Bound 4 Glory Sports, a basketball training and consulting company. Former Hawkeye Jason Price helps conduct training and instruction with Duez for Bound 4 Glory Sports.

Recently, Hawkeye Sports News was able to ask former Hawkeye Duez Henderson some questions about his experiences at Iowa and also catch up on his current career. Here is a copy of the full transcript from our exclusive interview with Duez Henderson:

Hawkeye Sports News: What is the favorite memory you have from your playing days with Testosterone Iowa?

Duez Henderson: I have 2 favorite memories. My first would be our run to the Sweet 16 my freshmen year. It was a great experience that I really did not appreciate at the time. It was Dr. Tom's last year and he did a great job of pulling the team together and staying focused although he knew it was his last year.

Secondly, winning the Big Ten Tournament in my junior year. We went to Chicago with the hopes of maybe winning 2 games to squeeze into the NCAA tournament, and ended up winning the tournament. This was a great time for me individually, while I spent most of my time watching and learning during our run to the Sweet 16 my freshmen year, being a starter and playing big minutes made this extra special. The excitement of going there and winning 4 games in 4 days is something I will never forget.

These are 2 specific memories, but the fans in the state gave me 4 years of great memories, I would run out of time listing all of those!

HSN: How did your experiences at Iowa help prepare you for life after basketball?

DH: My time at Iowa was very important to me as far as preparation for life after basketball. I was able to develop many relationships that I maintain to this day. While I learned a lot in the classroom, most of my learning took place outside of it. Coming from the inner-city in Detroit I was not sure of what to expect. I can say the diversity of Iowa City really taught me a lot about life. Assistant coach Rich Walker did a great job of teaching me not only on the floor, but also about life. I contemplated transferring after my freshmen year, I look back on it now and I am very happy with my decision to stay. I am sure basketball wise I could have had a better career, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzKIxn2LE9w but life wise no question the University of Iowa was the best place for me.

HSN: Where have you played professionally after college and are you currently playing?

DH: I've played professionally across Germany for 6 years. I am currently Head Coach/player of USC Leipzig in Germany. My plan was to only coach this year but due to changes in our organization I am doing both now. It is a great learning year for me and I am enjoying it.

HSN: Where are you currently residing in the off-season and what is your current occupation?

DH: I currently call Iowa City my home during the off-season. I am the owner of Bound 4 Glory Sports (http://www.bound4glorysports.com/), a basketball training company that offers individual training, small group training, clinics, and camps.

HSN: How closely do you still follow the Hawkeyes and what are your feelings of the team's future?

DH: I still follow the Hawks very closely, I love being back in Iowa City playing with the guys, hanging around the office, and talking with the coaches.

I think they are headed in the right direction. I have to admit it is kind of frustrating see the struggles that they are going through this year, however it is also refreshing to see the way that they have competed and fought. I think Lickliter is a great fit for Iowa. He is not a lot of show and flash but about substance, which exemplifies the state of Iowa. I have the belief that any system a coach uses can be successful if he has the players to fit that system. I am looking forward to the players currently there, continuing to learn his system, along with getting his recruits into the program. I think we should all reserve judgment of the hire until this point. I think he has done a great job this year with the team he was left with. Anytime you lose players like Adam and Tyler, the following year will be a struggle. Now add to that mix a coach teaching a new system, a few key injuries, and freshmen expected to contribute at the Big Ten level; and you have the making of a tough year. I think Lickliter has done a great job considering the situation. I am sure it is just a matter of time before Iowa Basketball is one of the premiere programs in the league!