NBA Rooks: Diaries … John Henson

By John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks

Nov. 1, 2012 — These past few months have been a complete whirlwind for me.  Adjusting to independence (i.e. cooking, cleaning, banking, etc.) in a brand new city has taken some getting used to, but I’m getting there.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived in Milwaukee after spending most of my life in the South. But I can honestly say that I love it here.  The city, the Bucks fans and the lifestyle are awesome.

Thankfully, living away from home during my three years in Chapel Hill, combined with my parents’ guidance, helped prepare me for my professional career off the court.  But the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program (RTP) over the summer was four days of learning life skills that have already helped me tackle the business of professional basketball.

Imagine waking up tomorrow and going to work in your dream job.  Whether it is a doctor, a pilot, a teacher, an actor, business owner or an athlete.  There is no feeling in the world like it and I’m so fortunate to be where I am today.  This is the exact thought that went through my head when I sat down for the RTP — I was soaking everything in.  Being among my friends, former teammates and other guys I’ll be seeing on an NBA court this year.  It was surreal.  I wanted to know everything about what it takes to be successful in my new career and the RTP filled every gap of every question that I had.

There were a lot of great speakers during the RTP, but to hear Chris Herren speak after watching his “30 for 30” Unguarded on ESPN earlier in the year blew me away.  To have everything in the world going for you and to lose it all because of bad decisions made me realize that I have a gift and I want to use my gift to make my family, university and the NBA proud.

And on the lighter side, we all laughed pretty hard when Fab Melo‘s chair broke during the photo shoot and he crashed on the floor.  I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to run out with the cameras.  It was HY-STER-I-CAL.  There he was laid out on the floor.  You ever seen a seven footer try to get up off the floor without a hand from someone else?  It’s like watching paint dry! LOL.  Oh, and by the way, he was fine.  We did check to make sure of that before we all started laughing at him. LOL.  Overall, it was great to get to know all the guys from my draft class and to see my college teammates Harrison [Barnes], Kendall [Marshall] and Z [Tyler Zeller].

Training camp and preseason were going really well until I sprained my knee in a game against the Bulls.  Mike Dunleavy fell into the side of my knee when I was going for a rebound, but thankfully, it is not a serious injury.  It’s feeling fine, I’m just waiting for swelling to go down.  I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to start the season against the Celtics but I’ve been working hard at rehab so I can get back on the court and contribute.  We have a very deep roster with a mix of high-energy young players like Brandon, Monta and Tobias as well as some very talented vets like Mike and Sam.  I’m excited to get the season started and find a rhythm with the guys.

While I haven’t had a lot of down time, I did have a chance to see a couple of great movies.  I enjoyed Sinister.  It was a solid horror movie.  On a scale of 1 – 10, I’ll give it a 9 1/2.

I want to make my blog fun and interactive, so please ask me questions.  Tweet me @_John_Henson_ and ask your questions.  What do you want to know about the life of an NBA rookie?  What types of things are you most curious about?  Every month I’m going to choose the most interesting questions to answer and give you guys a behind-the-scenes view.

Keep checking for more of my updates on here and Twitter @_John_Henson_. And Go Bucks!

And stay tuned for upcoming information on my #ShowMeYour Milwaukee Instagram contest.  More details on the contest in my next blog post.

John Henson is 6-foot-11 forward from North Carolina. He was the 14th player taken in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Check All Ball all season long for more NBA Rooks: Diaries …


  1. Just wanted to wish you the best of luck in not only your rookie season but NBA career. North Carolina was always my college basketball dream school and favorite team. You were my favorite player there and i support you 100% ; I am a junior point guard that plays for Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Keep working hard, and continue to let hard work and basketball be a lifestyle and not just an option! Yessir!

  2. outerbanker1 says:

    john, sure wish you were still here[unc] but best of luck going forward. get up with this guy who played for unc then went on to play for clevland cavs and did real well in the financial end. he is now a car owner in nascar and tv commentator. his number #43 retired by the cavs. this man is a”role model”. i really love my heels and the guys who went there[unc]. oh, his name is “Mr. Brad Daugherty”