Former North Carolina forward John Henson (right) was the third North Carolina player selected in the NBA draft on Thursday night. Henson went at No. 14 to Milwaukee while Tyler Zeller (left) was selected three picks later. PHOTO: Robert Willett
NEWARK, N.J. — If he was still available by pick No. 14 in the NBA draft, John Henson said he knew the Milwaukee Bucks would select him there. Henson was right.
The Bucks took Henson, the former North Carolina forward, with the 14th pick in the draft. Henson became the third Tar Heels player to be selected on Thursday night, behind Harrison Barnes (No. 7 to Golden State) and Kendall Marshall (No. 13 to Phoenix).
Here’s what Henson had to say after being drafted:
Q: If you could just start with an opening statement about being drafted by the Bucks.
A: You know, it was a great fit for me. I took a visit there. I absolutely loved it. You know, it was a nice, small city. Not necessarily a small city, but a good‑sized city and there's not much traffic, which is a beautiful thing and you can get 20 minutes anywhere in the city. I'm excited to go there and work hard and try to contribute and help them win.
Q: Scott Skiles preaches defense and you're arguably the best defensive player in the Draft. Talk about how that can get you minutes?
A: Yeah, you want to find ways to get on the court, whether you're defense, shot‑blocker, I think if I'm preaching defense, I'm in good hands. I'm excited to get this started and get to Milwaukee.
Q: Skiles is a guy that is compared to a college coach in that he plays the hot hand and doesn't give consistent roles. You're used to playing for a big‑time college system. Does that help you adjust?
A: Yeah, I think it will. You know, he wants to win, and whatever a coach has to do to win is necessary, and the way he coaches, like you said, I think it's a good philosophy; a hot hand, the person is going to contribute and hopefully I can be one of those guys.
Q: Talk about that journey, coming from playing in the playgrounds, AU teams, and now you hear your name from David Stern being announced.
A: It's a dream come true. I was on the road for 20 days, two bags and had to do laundry a couple of times and the journey was rewarded. Now I'm here and it's time for a bigger journey, and hopefully I will be prepared.
Q: Kendall changed his cell phone number yesterday so he would not get all of the calls from everybody today. Did you do the same thing?
A: No, I didn't. That actually might have been a good idea, but I'll get his number and I'm glad he went to Phoenix. I thought it was a good fit. I thought that's where he was going to go to be honest, so I'm excited for him.
Q: Did you know anything about where you were going? Were you surprised to still there be at 14?
A: I wasn't surprised. Milwaukee told me that if Drummond dropped they would take him but if not they would take me. But Milwaukee, glad they picked me and it's a great fit.
Q: You're going to be working with a dynamic backcourt with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis; talk about how that will get you open looks?
A: Obviously I'll be there to make the open shot. Scoring is something that's probably not going to be a necessity on that team with those two guys.
Q: Can you talk about how it might have felt for your teammate Tyler Zeller to be the last player in the Green Room?
A: I don't know. You know, he got picked by Dallas, a great organization, a bunch of USC guys, so it's not a bad place to fall, Dallas, with that type of atmosphere and I'm excited for him.
Q: You seem to have a beautiful family, great relationship; what role will they play with you in Milwaukee?
A: They are going to come out with me. We are going to figure out a car, you know, get a car, place to live, things of that nature and just ready to get to work. This is a great process and in about two weeks I think we are going out to Vegas, so got to get ready for that.