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Shelton Henderson Q&A

Credit: USA Basketball

Pro Insight recently caught up with Shelton Henderson, a four-star wing in the class of 2025 who was named to the twelve-man USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team, which is currently competing in the 2024 FIBA U18 AmeriCup in Buenos Aires, Argentina. USA has captured the gold medal 10 times in this event and looks to continue its international dominance in the youth age groups.

Henderson has been a stock-riser playing on the EYBL circuit this spring and summer with JL3 Elite. Through the first four sessions, he is averaging 17.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. The U18 AmeriCup will be his third appearance with USAB after attending previous minicamps. An athletic, rim-pressure type wing who excels in the open floor, Henderson fits the mold as a long-term prospect with two-way upside and physical tools.

In this interview with Pro Insight’s Conrad Chow, Henderson talked about some of his impressions and takeaways from the USAB U18 training camp, the latest in his recruitment and schools he hopes to visit, cutting hair as a hobby, his dream NIL deal, and much more.

For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2025 prospect Shelton Henderson, from Bellaire, Texas:

Pro Insight: So to start things off — what are your impressions of the USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team Training Camp? How's that been going? 

Shelton Henderson: I think it's going really good and I've just been competing, playing hard. I think playing against the best players in the country has really improved my game and helps me see where I stand and just having fun, too, and enjoying the moment. 

PI: Are there any particular teammates you feel you formed a connection with on or off the court?

SH: Me and Jeremiah Fears — that's my roommate. I think we’re pretty cool now. Just a lot of people I've been playing with on my team. Mazi [Mosley], you just talked to him. We’re cool. So just really everybody, I think just having a good relationship with them. 

PI: What would it mean to you to represent the USA on the international stage? 

SH: I think it would be great just to represent my country. It’s just an accomplishment that I've been dreaming of for a while now. Just showing that my work has paid off and just going out there and showing what I can do and having fun while doing it. 

PI: What's been one of the biggest takeaways you've gained from the coaching staff during this camp?

SH: I think just playing simple, making those simple reads, not trying to be all fancy and just playing off two feet, finishing at the rim, not trying to make the heroic play every time, and just playing to your strengths. So that's what I've been doing mostly.

PI: Take us a bit back to your journey — how did you get to where you are today? Talk about your background and family.

SH: My family — they all play sports, most of them play football, but I've always been the basketball player in the family. My dad played in college. He went to play for one year in college. He went to Southern University in Louisiana. My mom was just an athlete in general. She did a bunch of triathlons and stuff. So like, just growing up. I was playing in the backyard, with my brother and cousins. I think that made me into what I am today. Just always being the youngest. So just having to play with a chip on my shoulder and being tough out there and also just Coach Lucas and Coach Delilah Battle, they helped me a lot when I was coming up with just the fundamentals and teaching me how to have that mentality to be the best player I can be. So I think that that has really molded my game. 

PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?

SH: I played football, baseball, soccer, track, and swimming. I did everything. I think I was just an all-around athlete growing up. 

PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and playstyle?

SH: I think just getting downhill, getting to the paint, kicking it out, getting my teammates involved, playing with a high motor, a lot of energy, crashing the glass, just getting that extra possession for the team, and also just scoring and getting to the free throw line. 

PI: Who do you model your game after or study on film?

SH: I'll watch a lot of Anthony Edwards, Cade Cunningham, Stephon Castle. All those really big guard types and like big bodies. 

PI: What is the most underrated aspect of your game?

SH: I think my playmaking. I think I make really good decisions off the dribble and I think my shooting has improved a lot over the past couple of months. So I think that is something that people are going to start to be able to see. 

PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?

SH: Definitely make this team — the USA U18 team — and I want to win Peach Jam, too, as a team with JL3 — so I'm looking forward to that. And just also, you know, get as much exposure and just expanding my game and just falling in love with it really, just falling in love with the process. 

PI: Your AAU teammates Hudson Greer and Sebastian Williams-Adams are at camp as well — how has it been playing on the EYBL circuit with JL3 Elite?

SH: It's been great. I think we're molding perfectly together and no one's really selfish. We all know how to share the ball, make the right reads. So I think we can go as deep as we want during Peach Jam and however we do, is really up to us, I think. The whole group that we got, I really love them. I've played with a lot of them for a while now so the chemistry is definitely there. 

PI: How do you see your role at the next level? 

SH: I think just a transition player, a spot-up shooter, guarding the best player, rebounding and crashing the glass, bringing that energy either off the bench or wherever they need me to come. So I just think that whatever they ask for me to do, I think I can bring it. 

PI: Turning to your recruitment — what is your recruitment update? Who have you been hearing from the most, lately?

SH: Definitely U of H, LSU, Texas, Baylor just hit me up. I've been hearing from Duke, Kentucky, Arkansas. Texas Tech talks to me a lot. Yeah, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State. So I've been hearing from them a lot, recently. 

PI: Do you have a dream school growing up? 

SH: Not really a dream school, but my favorite coach was Coach K. I really like what he did at Duke, but I don’t really have a dream school, I don't think. 

PI: Which schools are you hoping to visit in the near future? 

SH: Definitely Duke, Kentucky, Texas, U of H — all the schools I've mentioned, I would really love to go see what they have to offer and just see what they can offer for me and what I can bring to their program. 

PI: When looking at different college options, what’s the most important aspect for you?

SH: I think the coaching staff, just someone that's gonna push me to where I want to be and help me reach my main goal. It’s about not sugarcoating anything and keeping it real with me. So I really appreciate that when they talk like that. 

PI: Let’s end with some fun rapid-fire questions. What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?

SH: I like listening to music. I love listening to music, playing video games, and I'll be cutting hair, too. 

PI: Who are your favorite music artists?

SH: Right now, I gotta go Veeze or this guy named Ian. I listen to them two a lot.

PI: You mention cutting hair as a hobby. Do you cut your own hair too?

SH: I've been cutting my own hair, especially because we travel a lot, so I'll be taking it with me and cutting my own hair on the road. Also cutting my brother's hair sometimes when he lets me, but he doesn't trust me like that sometimes. 

PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?

SH: I'll probably be a physical therapist. I love just trying to help people feel better and like trying to treat them. I've gotten injured a lot, so I know how to get through those. I want to be a physical therapist if that's the backup. 

PI: What are things you do to take care of yourself in terms of recovery and wellness?

SH: Just hydrating and drinking water, icing a lot, a lot of sleep, and stretching a lot, too. 

PI: What is your dream NIL deal and why? 

SH: Easily, it would definitely be Beats [by Dre]. I love listening to music, so that would be a great NIL deal for me, I think.



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