Henry follows in dad’s footsteps

Rodrick Anderson

Shardé Henry used to shadow her father, Dwayne Henry, during his days as a high school basketball coach, and dreamed of one day following in his footsteps.

Now she is a first-year girls basketball head coach at Washington-Marion, where her father led the Charging Indians to the Class 4A semifinals in 2002.

“I have always had the dream since I was little just following my dad and his teams around to one day be in that position,” Henry said. “I love it so far. It is different and new, but it has always been my goal to be a head coach.

“I think it is real special following in the footsteps of my dad because he was the head girls coach at Washington-Marion.”

While she was young when her father was coaching, Henry has carried on some of his coaching style of being fiery but understanding and being able to relate to the players, especially in pressure situations.

“I think his way of being hard on the players … but also relating to them,” Henry said. “You have know him, but he was sarcastically funny.”

Henry has spent seven years coaching since graduating from LSU-Shreveport in 2013, including the last two season as part of Lakeem Holmes’ staff, helping LaGrange win back-to-back Class 4A state championships. Henry is using some of what she learned in her stint at LaGrange.

“I really learned a lot from Coach Holmes at LaGrange,” Henry said.

“Being an assistant under him was very helpful. I am using a lot things that he taught me, but I try not to steal all his plays.”

W-M has made four consecutive playoff appearances, including a pair of home first-round games. Henry is looking to build trust with her players and strengthen fundamentals.

“My first goal was to come in and try change the culture of the team, build relationships with the kids, get them to trust me and know them,” Henry said. “Then when they step on the floor they will trust in you, believe what your are saying and be willing to do anything for you once they get on the court.

“As far as the court, we have been working on fundamentals. We have been doing a lot of small, detailed drills and the little things.”

Henry said the Charging Indians could pull some surprises this season and contend in District 4-4A.

“My hopes for this summer has been to improve from day one and I think we have done a tremendous job,” Henry said. “Our goals for this season are basically to get better each game and improve.

“I don’t want to set the bar too high, but we want to compete in district. I think that we have a very competitive district that even as a young team we can compete, win some games and shock some people in 4A. I like an up-tempo. I like to pay fast, press, force turnovers and run-and-gun. It is tough now because we have eight players but we definitely expect to get more.”

””

Shardé Henry, Washington-Marion girls’ basketball head coach

Rodrick Anderson / American Press

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