Q&A with 2011 VCU Commit Pierria’ Henry

The Rams secured a HUGE commitment from 6’4, 186 pound combo guard Pierria’ Henry out of South Charleston high school in West Virginia this past spring. He is a Big East level player who sported a number of Division 1 offers including West Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Arkansas among others. ESPN gives Henry at a 92 grade which would make him the highest-ranked recruit according to that service that VCU has garnered a commitment from since ESPN started their recruiting service. He was a two-sport standout for the Black Eagles starring at wide receiver and defensive back in football. Henry led them to 2 straight state championships in the sport and was named MVP in the state championship game this year . He’s no slouch on the basketball court either, scoring his 1000th point as a junior on February 11th. He was named Mountain State Athletic co-Player of the Year (with Wake Forest commit Chase Fischer) and 1st team All-State West Virginia. He was named MVP of the All-Ohio Nike Cup AAU tournament this past spring, leading his WV Wildcats 17U team to the title with 21 point, 9 rebound game in the final. Henry can do it all averaging 16.2 points, 8 boards, 6 assists, and 5 steals per game this past season.

What makes his achievements in both sports all the more impressive is the fact that he comes from a tough family situation and despite his hardships has thrived. His father left him and his 4 siblings when he was just a child, leaving his mother working 2 jobs to keep the household afloat. His brother is sitting in a jail cell for allegedly shooting a man and Henry has had to grow up quickly and become the man of the house for his sisters. Things got so bad at home that his mother finally relented and let him go live with his girlfriend’s family to get him out of the negative environment surrounding his home. Without the money to pay for college, Henry’s flair for the athletic opened new doors towards completing a college education. The hardship of his life has given him toughness, heart, and desire that can’t be learned on the basketball court or the football field. He is one the hardest-working players on the football field and was the leading rebounder on his team as a 6’4 sophomore guard. Henry’s hard work is not just limited to the athletic arena; he sports a GPA above 3.0 as well. While he’s a great player on the court, Henry looks to be an even more remarkable individual off of it. Pierria’ was gracious enough to perform a Q&A with VCURamNation.

VCURamNation: On behalf of the Ram Nation I’d like to express our excitement at your decision to be a part of the future of VCU basketball.

You were pursued by many schools from many different levels, what made VCU the right fit for you in your mind and why did you pick them over the other schools?

Pierria’: The main thing is the family relationship, also how the coaching staff is not only worried about basketball but the things in life… because the ball can only take you so far. Another reason is the style that coach Smart plays, thats what I love… but the whole level thing doesn’t mean anything because basketball is basketball and it shows, like Eric Maynor and Larry Sanders, you can make it out of there just like them other schools…

VCURamNation: Over the course of your recruitment, which schools did you have offers from?

Pierria’: I had offers from WVU, Marshall, Cleveland State, Ohio, Dayton, Akron, Delaware, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Central Florida, Radford, & Charlotte NC…

VCURamNation: Which NBA or college player would you say your game most resembles and why?

Pierria’: In my eyes I would say my game is versatile between Ron Artest’s defense and offense like Rajon Rondo…

VCURamNation: What do you think your greatest strength as a player is?

Pierria’: Team ball and Defense…

VCURamNation: What role do you see yourself playing at VCU next year and what goals do you have for yourself?

Pierria’: I see myself fighting for the starting point guard position, and a goal for myself is first, taking the team to the sweet 16 or higher, be the best i can be, and also try to beat all of Eric Maynor’s records..

VCURamNation: You were first team all-state in West Virginia as a junior and went up against guys like Noah Cotrill (West Virginia) and Chase Fischer (Wake Forest). How do you think going against these guys helps prepare you for the next level?

Pierria’: Well it can only help me because of the competition level in college, it’s just like playing AAU, and prep school ball, everybody is nice so you got to work harder if you want to be the best and compete…

VCURamNation: In addition to being recognized as a great basketball player, you are also known to be a darn good football player as well. You have said in the past that you would consider both sports if opportunities presented themselves. How does that situation affect your commitment to VCU at this point?

Pierria’: It doesn’t at all because honestly yes, ever since I was a little kid I’ve played all sports from basketball, football, baseball, and track, so i wanted to make history like just a few people that played both. But when it all came to reality I would have to choose which one will pay my bills in the future. If I wanted to be the best, or even make it to the pros then I would have to work after the work is over if you know what i mean, so in the off-season i wouldn’t be able to work on that position and get better because i would still be in a regular season in the other sport. Then it also takes time from my education, so really i have to choose one that i know i will work harder in, therefore i will live and stay in a gym but i would only spend a couple hours on a football field. So really I’m just going off of God-blessed talent because I just play to have fun and be a kid, I couldn’t do it for a living…

VCURamNation: When did you start hearing from the VCU staff about playing at VCU and who was the primary person in your recruitment?

Pierria’: Like toward the middle of my junior year, and it was from coach Jones and coach Smart, i talked to them both from the first day i heard VCU on my answer machine…

VCURamNation: What are you most looking forward to about coming to VCU?

Pierria’: Having a great basketball season, getting a good education in criminal justice, having the support and family bond from the team and fans, also just having a GREAT and LIVE time in college lol…

VCURamNation: Anything you want to say to the VCU fans?

Pierria’: I just appreciate the fans love and attendence, and how you all keep the game exciting. Also you all will never see a harder worker in the gym and in the weight room than I because I have a drive and a goal that I HAVE to succeed, and I promise every game, every practice, I will not let you all down. But don’t take me the wrong way I am not cocky at all but I have a lot of confidence in myself. Also I’m not saying I’m perfect, I will make mistakes but I will learn from it and won’t make the same one twice, that is my word… So just do me a favor and keep up the support and love for this year and for years to come at VCU, because before its all over we will be 1 of those big-time schools everybody talks about and wants to beat!!!! VCU BABBBBY… deuces and be easy, much love, (3 0 4 KC, never forget where & what i came from!!!)

VCURamNation: Thanks so much for your time Pierria’ and we can’t wait to see you take the court for VCU!

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