Just like Penny Hardaway, Cedric Henderson making good on his first college coaching job

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — College basketball in the Bluff City has been all about one thing this year, a prodigal son, a former Tiger great and NBA player, coaching college basketball in the city they call home. A melody the 901 has been bumping since March but little do people know that song actually has two verses.

"Hey are you willing to put your hat in the bag, and I was like alright I'll try. Then before I knew it, it got serious, then I was like okay I might have to really consider this," said Cedric Henderson.

While Penny Hardaway has been stealing the spotlight at the U of M, Cedric Henderson, like Penny, also got his first collegiate head coaching job this year at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

“You get that conversation almost every other day. It's like, 'man it is kind of exciting to be back in the city. To see a former player doing it. Kind of compared it to the Larry Finch and Verties Sails days, hopefully we can bring it back to those type of situations , glory days and bring some winning teams around," said Henderson.

"It's special because we've done a lot of work in this community. Growing up in the community playing basketball, everyone knows our names. Cedric made it to the NBA and has comeback to try and touch the lives of a lot of kids in the city. And to be at Southwest at the same time I am here, is special for the city," said Penny Hardaway.

Still sixth on the Tigers career scoring list, Henderson, the McDonald's All-American from East was also a second round pick of the Cavaliers in the 1997 NBA draft.

"Probably about a week ago, we watched his game at Memphis State, just to see how good he was, to see if he was really that good. He definitely was really good," said Anthony Yarbrough.

"The first thing that I had to learn was, I am not a player no more, I had to take that player tag off and say I am a coach. Sometimes I do get a little excited about it because I'm like 'man I used to make that play, you've got to make that play'. So you got to realize okay this kid is not you, you got to stop and reflect and teach this kid what I saw, rather than saying this is what I did," said Henderson.

And helping with the transition to his first college coaching job, a familiar face. As Cedric, Sr. gets to coach his son, Cedric, Jr.

"I feel like it means a lot to him because he has always loved Memphis and always cared to give back to the community that he came from," said Cedric Henderson Jr.

"It's like a good feel because people have seen you grow up from a kid to playing in the pros and to where I am at today. So it's a lot of fun. You get a lot of compliments just being a local kid here and growing up in this city. So it is a very exciting time," said Henderson.

And after 6 days without a game, Ced and the Saluqis get back to work tomorrow, playing at Dyersburg State. At Southwest Tennessee Community College. Megan Rice. News channel 3 sports.


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