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Kittanning's Henry set to begin basketball career at La Roche

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 11:36 p.m.
Bill Shirley | For The Leader Times
Kittanning's Sterling Henry drives to the hoop against West Shamokin's Damon Craig during first-half action Monday, February 11, 2013, at Kittanning High School.

Sterling Henry's college journey will begin with a short drive to the North Hills.

Henry, the 2013 Leader Times Basketball Player of the Year and the No. 2 scorer in Kittanning history, will attend school and join the basketball team at La Roche beginning this fall.

It was late in the recruiting process that Henry settled on his decision, but with the start of the new school year rapidly approaching, he committed to the Redhawks last month. He chose the college in McCandless over other local schools that had recruited him, including Thiel and Edinboro.

“I only had a short amount of time left to pick, but I think I picked the best school for me,” Henry said. “I really wanted to be able to play basketball where I went, and I know they'll be able to help me going through college.”

La Roche has had a strong basketball program for a number of years, and last season the team finished 17-11 and reached Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals.

La Roche's location close to home was one benefit, and Henry said he liked what he saw from Redhawks coach Hermie Carmichael when he had a chance to see the team play last season.

“I like the way he coaches. He really gets into it during the games,” Henry said. “He doesn't just sit back and watch; he's real intense.”

Henry, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, will be coming into a program that has eight seniors — six of whom are listed as guards on the roster — coming back for 2013-14. That means he will have plenty of veterans to learn from as he finds his role with the team.

“I've been playing a good bit during the summer with the seniors there, and they've got a lot of good guys,” Henry said. “When they move on, I hope to play a decent amount of time the next year.”

While playing in summer games with his new teammates, Henry already has picked up on areas he will need to work on, such as improving his ballhandling. But Henry said he's eager to put in the effort needed in practice to raise his game to the college level of play.

“I need to get stronger for sure. Everyone there is pretty strong, even the guards,” Henry said. “There are open gyms scheduled when I get on campus, and the coaches just said to be ready when practice starts.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

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