Kansas recruits decide to stay

Published 12:38 am Wednesday, July 1, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — After a frantic day that had Kansas fans fretting they might lose a prized recruit, Xavier Henry texted a local radio station late Tuesday night saying he decided to stay with the Jayhawks.

Earlier, the father of Xavier and his brother, C.J. Henry, said there would be a family meeting on Tuesday and that the two might not play at Kansas, after all.

But late Tuesday, Xavier Henry sent a text message to Cory Anderson of the Chris and Cowboy Show on 610 Sports Radio confirming he would not change his mind.

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‘‘I’m goin to Kansas and that’s final,’’ the text read.

Xavier Henry, a 6-foot-6 guard, is considered one of the most talented players Kansas coach Bill Self has ever recruited. Adding him to a deep and experienced squad which returns almost everyone from the team that reached the NCAA round of 16 last season would likely make the Jayhawks preseason favorites for the national championship.

Xavier and his older brother, C.J., were headed to Memphis before switching to Kansas in the wake of John Calipari’s decision to leave Memphis and coach at Kentucky.

Their father, Carl Henry, said in an interview with 610 on Tuesday that the family was upset with a story in The Kansas City Star on Sunday. The story, the father said, portrayed his sons as being disinterested in attending classes at college.

Henry said he planned to meet Tuesday night with his sons at the family home in Oklahoma City to see if the boys want to go to Kentucky or keep their commitment to Kansas.

‘‘We have a meeting set up tonight where we’re going to set down and talk about this whole deal,’’ the elder Henry said.

Asked if there was a chance his sons would not come to Kansas, Henry said, ‘‘Yes. I don’t know what they’re considering. When Coach Self came down, my oldest son, C.J., said, ‘No matter what, we’re going to Kansas.’ But a couple of weeks ago, my youngest son tells me he wants to go to Kentucky, said he’s thinking about it.’’

The extensive story in the Sunday Star indicated the family was mostly interested in preparing an NBA career for the brothers and that Xavier has no interest in school.

‘‘If he didn’t have to go to college, he wouldn’t do it,’’ Carl Henry was quoted as saying.

When pressed by the interviewers, the elder Henry said there was nothing factually inaccurate in the story.

‘‘The guy who wrote that story kind of betrayed my whole family and kind of made us look bad, like my kids are prima donnas, all I do is talk.’’ he said.

When Calipari left for Kentucky, the brothers switched to Kansas, where their mother, father and aunt all played basketball. Carl Henry said they might have chosen to follow Calipari to his new school but their mother did not want to live in Kentucky.

But he said she no longer feels that way.

‘‘She told Coach Self she’s out of it. She don’t care where they go,’’ Henry said.