When John Henson played basketball for the University of North Carolina last season, he weighed approximately 220 pounds.
Now, almost eight months later, the Milwaukee Bucks’ No. 1 draft selection is still carrying virtually the same weight on his 6-foot, 11-inch frame.
Henson’s rail-thin body concerned many NBA officials prior to the June NBA draft, especially considering Henson was a power forward. Most players at that position are considerably beefier.
Just take a look at the power forwards in the Central Division, where the Bucks reside. Chicago’s Carlos Boozer tips the scales at 258. Detroit’s Greg Monroe weighs 250. Chicago’s Joakim Noah is 232, Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson is 227 and Indiana’s David West is 250.
Still, Henson doesn’t consider his weight to be an issue.
“It’s not about weight, it’s about getting stronger,” said Henson, the 14th overall pick in the 2012 draft. “I’m holding my own down there (in the paint). So, nah, I’m (not concerned).
“As I get older, I’m sure I’ll put on weight.”’
Henson isn’t exactly the strongest player, either. But he may offset his lack of weight and strength by his enormous wingspan. At the NBA pre-draft camp, Henson’s wing span was measured at 7-6.
His exceptional length, along with his uncanny timing and leaping ability, enabled him to be an exceptional shotblocker at North Carolina. Last season, as a junior, Henson averaged 2.7 blocks a game. In his sophomore season with the Tar Heels, he averaged 3.2 blocks.
Although the Bucks have played only two rather meaningless preseason games, Henson appears he’ll be a shotblocking fiend in the NBA as well.
In Saturday night’s game against Detroit, Henson rejected four shots in 27 minutes. Safe to say, if he comes close to doing that during his pro career, nobody is going to remotely care about his weight.
“Once he gets a couple of more (games) under his belt, the kid will be all right,” said 23-year-old point guard Brandon Jennings. “His potential is bright. He blocks everything that comes through the lane.”
* Bucks coach Scott Skiles said he has noticed some distinct and positive differences in Ersan Ilyasova’s game this season.
One of them is how the Bucks’ starting power forward is more poise on the court.
“He’s really calmed himself down,” Skiles said of Ilyasova, who sometimes played out of control in the past. “There’s no question about that. Look at games a couple of years ago and a game now.”
Skiles also said Ilyasova isn’t just taking any shot anymore.
Said Skiles: “His shot selection has improved dramatically.”
n It isn’t often a yoga instructor becomes an equipment manager for an NBA team.
But that’s precisely what happened to Jay Namoc. After teaching yoga in San Diego the last three years, Namoc received a telephone call from Bucks general manager John Hammond to see whether he was interested in becoming the team’s equipment manager.
Hammond had received a referral from Keith Jones, the Houston Rockets’ long-time senior vice president of basketball operations/head athletic trainer. Namoc had worked with Jones and the Rockets from 1994 until 2007.
With the hiring of Namoc, Mike Sergo, who had been the Bucks’ equipment manager last season, is back being a video coordinator.