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In Search of LaDontae Henton
In Search of LaDontae Henton
Published by Swampy Meadows
In Search of LaDontae Henton

LANSING (MI) -- We’ve all seen him on film and I had a chance to shake his hand and chat with him at the New Mexico game, but tonight would be the first time that I would get the chance to see LaDontae “Buckets” Henton live and in-person. Henton’s Lansing Eastern Quakers were set to square off against intra-city rival Lansing Sexton. Led by MSU-bound Denzell Valentine, Sexton is currently ranked #2 in Michigan and a team that the Quakers had lost to in the opening game of the season.

I made the mistake of believing the Lansing Eastern website which showed this tilt in bolded letters, indicating it to be a home game. I wasn’t alone either, as an irregular stream of cars kept coming into the empty parking lot at Don Johnson Fieldhouse with drivers pulling up and asking where the game was. Fortunately, Lansing Sexton is a straight shot from Eastern down Kalamazoo Avenue and it was Senior Night, so the tipoff didn’t happen until 8:00PM.

As for the game, the only word I can think of is “Wow!”

Just “Wow!”

I can honestly say that I have never, ever seen such an offensive display to open a game at any level -- Biddy League, High School, College or in the NBA -- as young Mr. Henton put on tonight.

LaDontae hit his first 8 shots, including 4 three-pointers, on his way to 21 1st quarter points. He would have had 2 more markers but he missed a tip dunk attempt. It was Henton 10, Sexton 2 after only 2:30 had transpired. Eastern never trailed, finishing the first stanza with a 27-15 lead. Oh yeah, LaDontae had 4 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal in the period as well. He only scored 7 points the rest of the way, but it didn’t matter as the Quakers were in control and "Buckets" was content to set picks, make steals, grab boards and block shots.

LaDontae’s final unofficial line:

28 points
8 rebounds
5 blocks
3 steals

Valentine got to eat a Spalding sandwich courtesy of Henton on an ill-advised layup attempt. His coach put Denzell on LaDontae to start the 2nd quarter which slowed “Buckets” down a little as he fronted LH and grabbed his jersey when Henton tried to cut. LaDontae brought the ball up the floor starting in the 2nd period to take the pressure off PG Cha Cha Tucker; he took a nice charge on a Sexton layup attempt and had a beautiful behind-the-back-bounce-pass assist on a two-on-one fast break. Eastern Coach Rod Watts had his squad play a lot of zone, which seemed to baffle Sexton.

The final score:

Lansing Eastern 88

Lansing Sexton 74

After the game LaDontae said that his team came out flat against Sexton last time and they wanted to go hard at them this game. He admitted that he has never had a hot start like that, not even in AAU ball and that he was just in a really good rhythm. LaDontae felt the key to the game was “legs, energy and a sense of urgency” which were things the Quakers lacked in their initial meeting vs. their big rival. Henton admitted that as the team leader he had been getting on his teammates this week to play with intensity. He had heard about the European trip that the Flyer squad will be taking this summer and agreed that is a great way to start your college experience. He couldn’t think of any good nicknames for future Flyer teammate Percy Gibson either.

Coach Rod Watts said that LaDontae is a tremendous young man and that he had something to prove after the lackluster start to the game he had in the Quakers’ most recent loss to Okemos. Plus LaDontae had a score to settle with Sexton after the opening game defeat. Coach summed up the feelings of many Eastern fans when he said matter-of-factly “That’s Mr. Basketball right there.” LaDontae has played this way ever since he was a freshman. Coach Watts made the understatement of the year when he stated “You don’t replace a LaDontae Henton.”

I went off in search of LaDontae Henton and I picked a great night to find him!

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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By UDBrian on 03-02-2011, 12:10 AM
Now that you have seen him play swampy would you expect him to play the '4' or the '3'?
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By Swampy Meadows on 03-02-2011, 06:50 AM
Both, quite frankly. He has the handle to play the 3 and the length and strength to play the 4.
Last edited by Swampy Meadows; 03-02-2011 at 07:05 AM..
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By UDBrian on 03-02-2011, 11:23 AM
Thanks Swampy, that is what I hoped you would say UDBrian
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By Chris R on 03-02-2011, 11:40 AM
21 points in a HS quarter is nuts.
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By Swampy Meadows on 03-02-2011, 12:50 PM
It truly was, Chris. To tell you what kind of night he had, one of his 3 pointers hit the back flange of the hoop and then dribbled in. When that happens, the other guys don't stand a chance!
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By hugginator82 on 03-03-2011, 05:07 AM
It'll be a shame to watch his skill deteriorate or be under-utilized under gregory
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By Swampy Meadows on 03-04-2011, 09:01 AM
One motivating factor for LaDontae besides the desire to avenge the earlier loss to Sexton is that Tom Izzo was in the house to watch Denzell Valentine. I would imagine there was a bit of "let me show you what you missed out on, Coach" to the hot start by "Buckets."
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By UACFlyer on 03-04-2011, 04:00 PM

I don't follow UD recruits...I presume that Henton will be a Flyer next year...right? Seldom do freshmen start at UD...Cw and JS did. Do we have any freshment coming in that are possible starters next year?
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By Swampy Meadows on 03-05-2011, 08:39 AM
UAC: Yes, Henton will suit up in the fall, as will 6'9" Percy Gibson. Since UD loses their starting PF and sometimes-starting C, these two will contend for minutes at those positions.
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