Leon Henry will return to play for an Auckland based National Basketball League team for the first time since 2006 when he suits up for the Auckland Huskies in their opening Sal’s NBL game on June 23rdagainst Canterbury Rams at Trusts Arena – 7.30pm tip-off.
Since 2006 the 200cm swingman has enjoyed huge success in both the New Zealand and Australian NBL’s.
When the New Zealand Breakers won three consecutive titles between 2010 and 2013 Henry was an integral part of the club’s success on all three occasions.
In addition he has won six New Zealand NBL titles and three of those was with Huskies Head Coach Kevin Braswell
“Leon and I go back a fair way,” said Braswell.
“When I won my first NBL title as a player with Southland Sharks in 2013 Leon Henry was the MVP of the Final Four so I’ve seen Leon at his best.”
The 27-times capped Tall Black is equally thrilled to be reuniting with Braswell as in addition to that success in 2013 the pair have have also teamed up at Wellington Saints. Braswell coached the Saints from 2016 to 2018 and had Henry on his team on all three occasions, winning championships in 2016 and 2017 whilst finishing runners-up in 2018.
“I’ve been thinking about it every night this week and I’m very happy to be going to battle with KB again. We’ve been teammates, I’ve been coached by him, and we’ve had great success in the past,” said Henry.
Henry also paid mention to Huskies Assistant Coach Aaron Young with their paths having crossed at both the Saints and the Breakers.
“To see his rise from when his coaching journey first started, the sacrifices he has made to learn from great teams and franchises and to see his growth is exciting for me.
“It’s going to be an exciting time for me to pick everyone’s brains but also give feedback where I think I can help.
Henry also has a message for his new teammates.
“I’m just looking forward to getting to work with a great talented young group. I believe what the franchise is trying to do not only for this shortened season but also the years to come,” he said.
Braswell thinks his veteran forward has plenty to offer the team.
“I know he’s older now but I also know what qualities he can bring to the team. He does a great job of bringing up the younger guys and taking them under his wing and helping them get better.”
The Huskies begin team practice on Sunday with Tohi Smith-Milner able to join the squad having completed his time in quarantine since arriving from Melbourne two weeks ago.
You can purchase tickets to all Huskies games at Trust Arena at www.ticketfairy.com