9 Mile: The Marshall Henderson Story by Sam Pouncey

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This weekend will be a monumental weekend in sport’s life.  I will have the privilege of seeing the one-man wrecking crew, Marshall Henderson, live for the first time.  He will be coming to Stegeman Coliseum this weekend to take on the Georgia Bulldogs basketball team.

For those that don’t know, Marshall Henderson is the shooting guard for the Ole Miss Rebels.  He is well known for his antics, both on and off the court, as well as his propensity to shoot at any time from anywhere.  He does that cool “landshark” or “fins up” celebration when he hits a three and looks like Sid from Toy Story.   I’m referring to the messed up neighbor who mutilates his toys.  As a matter of fact, it isn’t that farfetched to believe that Sid may have been based on Marshall as a child.  Marshall Henderson and Sid both have a healthy appetite for destruction.

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He scored 2,289 career high school points at L.D. Bell High School in Hurst, TX.  He also managed to get arrested for trying to buy marijuana with fake money, failed a drug test while on probation, and tested positive for alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine.  The weed and the coke I guess I can understand, but alcohol?

Seriously?

It leaves your system in 12 hours if you are drinking rubbing alcohol.  Did you not know you had a drug test coming up?  The real question though is: who am I to question Marshall? 

Off-court problems aside, he turned down offers from schools like Gonzaga and Notre Dame to play at Utah.  However, Salt Lake City proved to be a little to tame for Marshall’s taste, could be the devout Mormon influences.  After just one year, in which he earned a spot All-Mountain West team, Henderson transferred to Texas Tech.  He sat out one year at Texas Tech due to NCAA transfer rules, but Henderson decided to leave Lubbock before playing a single game for the Red Raiders due to the departure of head coach Pat Knight.

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Henderson’s career, and reputation, would soon ascend into the stratosphere of college basketball.

Henderson transferred to South Plains Junior College in Levelland, Texas.  The Texans went 36-0 and won the National Junior College Athletic Association, or NJCAA, championship.  Marshall led the team there and was named NJCAA player of the year.

In the offseason, Marshall transferred to Ole Miss.  His junior season at Ole Miss his high-octane style of play, and even higher-octane attitude took the SEC by storm.  The “villain” of the SEC averaged 20.1 points per game and was named SEC tournament MVP.

Now, as a senior for the Rebels, Henderson is averaging 19.6 points per game and has the Rebels sitting at 16-7 and squarely on the NCAA bubble.  Fear not Rebel faithful, Ole Miss must make the NCAA tournament.  If they were 0-23, I’d still be pushing for them to get an at-large bid.

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The college basketball world has a fever, and the only prescription is more Marshall.  He may be a public relations nightmare, but he is a television ratings god.  You just never know when he will throw a piece of ice into his own student section, pop his jersey at an opposing student section, fire double “birds” to the booing crowd, or just do any manner of things nobody could possibly make up.  Rational people simply do not do the things that he does. 

College basketball needs another tournament filled with “Marshall’s Madness”.  He is the Johnny Football of college basketball.  Except he makes Johnny Manziel look like Pope Benedict.  Chazz Michael Michaels is men’s figure skating, but Marshall Henderson is college basketball.  I’m just waiting for the nickname “Marshall Basketball” to catch on.  I promise you I’ll be first in line for a jersey when that happens.

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