Friday, May 13, 2011

Who is Aneika Henry?

I know I have been gone for a quite a while, but as WNBA camps begin to open, and my workload is starting to level out, I find myself with a little bit of time and a lot of passion about basketball. This post is the first in a series looking at the new faces rolling into camp next week. Cuts will need to be made quickly as camp rosters are limited 15 players. With the late start to the season, the starters will be available earlier in camp than in the past. With 17 players on the roster, the first two cuts should happen in the first week.

Aneika Henry is an undrafted rookie who graduated from Florida in 2009. While she is Jamaican, she played high school basketball in Coral Gables, playing basketball for the very first time as a freshman. Her athleticism, length and wingspan weren't enough to earn her college recruitment and she attended junior college at Seminole Community College through 2007. She played for their team in her sophomore year. She played in every game in her two years as a gator, but she came off the bench and averaged less than 4 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in about 13 minutes per game.

She has moved on to play in Europe, and had quite a successful season playing for Mann Filter Zaragoza averaging 9 points, 7 rebounds and a block across the Spanish league play and 11 points and 8.5 rebounds in Eurocup play. She had a bit of a mix with regards to performance, but had a number of strong games in both seasons. She struggled scoring and rebounding against WNBA caliber players such as Rebekah Brunson and Michelle Snow, but did quite well against the majority of the Europeans and quite well against former Oklahoma star, Courtney Paris. She was the first woman to dunk in a Spanish league game.

My pre-camp opinion: Aneika will need to play exceptionally well on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor in order to displace the veteran bench fixture, Ashley Robinson. Ashley has a reputation with the coaching staff for consistent commitment and effort in practice (though she sees little time in games) and has been lauded for her positive impacts on team chemistry. Filling the last post position for the Storm and overcoming the history and experience of a well liked veteran will be an uphill battle for this rookie despite the appeal of her rookie scale salary.

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