Quentin Henderson remembers well the days leading up to his senior season of basketball at Klein Forest High School in Houston.
The team had reached the playoffs for a decade straight, but with not much besides him returning, things looked a little bleak for an 11th straight year.
Well, that’s what some folks thought, but not him.
"Some had us predicted last in district, but we weren’t going to let that happen," said the 6-foot guard who now plays for the Weatherford College Coyotes. "That was important to me, especially with me leaving."
Klein Forest made the playoffs, extending the streak.
Now, the 19-year-old Henderson has plans to help Coach Mark Osina return the Coyotes to the prominence they once knew in Osina’s first term as coach a few years ago.
"It gives me that feeling like high school," Henderson said. "I’ve always liked being the underdog. There’s no better place."
Except on top and winning, of course, which Henderson believes the Coyotes can do this season. At the time of this article, they already had a 9-10 record, more than twice as many wins as last season when they were 4-21 overall and 0-12 in the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference.
"I’m definitely happy with the way it’s going, but we’re going to get better," Henderson said. "Coach Osina expects us to do well, and we owe him that."
Henderson’s original plans were not to attend WC. In fact, he had not set foot on campus until he showed up to be a student/athlete.
"I originally took a visit to East Texas Baptist University, but it just didn’t fit me," he said. "Then, one day I was walking into the gym and my coach said, ‘You’re going to Weatherford.’
"I said, ‘Coach, really?’ He said, ‘Yeah, it’s a nice place.’ And it is a nice place. Once I met coach Osina, I knew I was meant to be here."
Henderson’s coach and Osina are good friends.
Henderson has been playing basketball most of his life, even as early as age 2.
"I still have the picture of me playing at Chuck E. Cheese," he said. "Everybody who’s ever seen me has seen me with a basketball in my hand."
And he dreams of playing for years to come.
"I’ve always had this dream of playing in the NBA, and I won’t stop unless something physically stops me," Henderson said. "Some of the greatest players I’ve known played junior college ball."
When he’s not playing hoops or going to class, Henderson loves working with music on his computer, especially rhythm and blues and rap.
"I played in a band in eighth grade," Henderson said. "I used to try to rap, then one of my friends gave me the program to make music on my computer. Now, I just really enjoy doing that."
Henderson’s major is kinesiology. Someday when he is done playing basketball, he hopes to coach.
"At first I wanted to do business, but you don’t want to do something you don’t care about," Henderson said.
But Henderson does certainly care about helping rebuild the tradition of success for the Coyotes, just like at Klein Forest.
"We turned doubters into believers, and we’re going to do it again," he said.