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March 24, 2013
Six-foot-nine Faith Baptist Christian School (Fla.) power forward Demetrius Henry has been a priority for South Carolina head coach Frank Martin since Martin accepted the Gamecock's head coaching job.
Martin had already established a relationship with Henry from his time coaching at Kansas State, and when Martin moved to South Carolina, he turned up the heat even more on Henry.
Henry took an official visit to South Carolina Thursday through Saturday and spoke to GamecockCentra.coml to recap the trip.
"It was a great visit," Henry said. "I got to meet some of the players and hangout with Coach Martin and the other coaches for a good amount of time. It definitely helped South Carolina. I felt comfortable there."
The senior post player was hosted by three current members of the Gamecock basketball team and spent a lot of time around future Gamecock Sindarius Thornwell.
"I met Bruce Ellington, Tyrone (Johnson) the transfer from Nova, and Mike (Carrera) from Montrose Christian," he said. "They were my hosts for the weekend. I also got a chance to meet Sindarius Thornwell this weekend. He was cool. He wasn't forcing me or anything to come to South Carolina. We had actually exchanged numbers a while back and have been texting back and forth for a while now. I just recently watched a highlight tape on him from Oak Hill this year."
There were several aspects of the visit that stood out to Henry including meeting South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier.
"The guys showed me around and the coaches took me around campus," Henry stated. "I saw all the facilities on campus. I was busy the whole time. I got to meet the football coach, the baseball coach, and the athletic director. It was good meeting Coach Spurrier because everybody knows he's a legendary coach. He knew my name right when I walked in the room."
The academic side of the tour was important to Henry, who also discussed his intended college major.
"I got to see where the players study and meet the academic guy that's over the team," he said. "They were nice facilities and they have tutors available when you need help with your schoolwork.. I want to study business in college. They said they have a good business program there."
Henry was able to sit down with head coach Frank Martin and talk at length about how he would be used if he ends up choosing the Gamecocks.
"He just said how much he needs me there," Henry said. "He wants to bring some fresh guys in and get the program rolling. He said I have a chance to play big time minutes. He's going to stick with me and keep recruiting me until I make a decision. He's been recruiting me a long time; since he was at K-State."
The official visit to South Carolina was the first of three expected visits over the course of the next few weeks. Henry laid out his future plans up until the time of his expected decision in April.
"I'm going to the University of South Florida this coming weekend," he said. "I have to wait and set up the Miami visit after they're done with the tournament. Once I take these next two visits, I'll take another week or so to see what I need to do. I want to make my decision on April 17."
While there has been no leader mentioned from Henry's three finalists, there has been a lot of speculation lately that the home-state Hurricanes could have the edge. Henry dismissed those rumors and stated why he chose to cut his list to three schools.
"No,not really," he said when asked if Miami's success this year will be a big factor in his decision. "I tell everybody their season this year doesn't have much to do with me. I chose to cut my list to the three schools where I have a chance to play early as a freshman and right now everybody is even."
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