Henry Realizes Dream Of Becoming A Panther

Oskaloosa Junior Cole Henry goes up for the high percentage shot against Saydel on Monday night.

Oskaloosa Junior Cole Henry goes up for the high percentage shot against Saydel. (file photo)

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The football practice field seems a long way away from the basketball court of the University of Northern Iowa on a hot August afternoon.

For Senior Cole Henry, the reality of a lifelong dream coming true is helping him make the most of his senior year, and helping the August heat be just a bit more bearable.

Henry is probably one of the best quarterbacks in the state of Iowa, but he’s really made a name for himself on the hardwood, and Henry and his family announced his commitment this past week to play basketball for the University of Northern Iowa.

“UNI has always been my dream school. Ever since I was a little kid, ever since I can remember, the far-fetched dream was UNI,” says Henry. “To see it come true is really an amazing feeling.”

“When they offered, I was so excited. After we went on the visit, my family and I decided that it was a good choice because it felt like home and it wasn’t too far away, and the community could come support me for four years,” added Henry.

Henry remembers that exact moment in time when he wanted to become a Panther. “They were in March Madness, and Ali Farokhmanesh hit a clutch shot against Kansas. I know him really well and, when I saw that live as a little boy, I definitely wanted to be in the Panther purple.”

When it comes to participation in his senior year athletics, like football and basketball, Henry says it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders. “These past few months have been great through the recruiting process. I had a lot of great choices to pick from, but I’m really happy it’s all finished up because I can kind of relax now and focus on winning.”

Henry has been surrounded by quality basketball his whole life. His dad, William Penn legendary coach John Henry, has taken William Penn’s program to the top of NAIA basketball, and Cole has been there with his father during that transformation.

“I think my dad’s ok with me not going to Penn. He understands it a little bit,” says Henry. “I grew up in Penn. To be honest with you, that’s kind of my second home. I owe a lot of my ability to Penn because I played there growing up. Some nights I couldn’t sleep and I would just go in there late at night, no one would know, and that’s the unseen hours that I spent there. Penn always has a place in my heart for sure.”

“Playing in Penn open gym has definitely developed my game. Especially this summer,” says Henry. “Before the big July periods that I really blew up in, I defiantly think playing in the Penn open gyms against those guys helped me out a lot because they bullied me. They really did. They dunked on me, they scored on me, they embarrassed me, and it made me a better player.”

Developing that toughness is something Henry believes helped him develop his game this past year. “Believing and patience. My biggest thing ever is hard work, and patience gets you wherever you want to go because it’s not going to happen right away.”

Henry developed a large following of young Indians during the past season, and he offers some advice to those future players. “It will happen eventually if you put your heart and mind into it.”

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Posted by on Aug 17 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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