Since his days at Kansas State, Jordan Henriquez has greatly exemplified that he is constantly on the grind, domestically and internationally. He shows that although he was not selected to go to the NBA, his journey to reaching and achieving that level has not stopped just because his name was not called. I had a chance to catch up with the center as he gave an insight on what he has achieved since his last feature on Ridiculous Upside.
Since the previous article, Henriquez has played in Japan for Yokohama B Corsairs, an international team from September to May, stating that it was his first time ever playing in Japan and in Asia. He also expressed that if he wanted to play in another country he would want to play in the Middle East "to experience that opportunity."
Recently, Henriquez played with other former K-State players for the Purple and Black team in The Basketball Tournament. The team played well in the tournament until they hit a snag against Pedro’s Passe, when Henriquez, the only big, was not there because of a Korean basketball camp. "I was a little more upset at myself for not being able to be there, being able to help my team win. As well as me being the only big, I know that hurt us big time against Pedro’s Passe." Henriquez expressed that he will play next year for TBT.
Henriquez is no stranger to his former college, as he participates in various camps and events at his alma mater.
"I love going back up for camps and coach would usually have basketball camps for the kids and the parents, so I like to go up to the camps and show my face." Not only does he show his face in the sports realm of Kansas State, but he visits all over the campus as well. "I like to show my face around the campus and get to see my academic advisers and people I haven’t had a chance to see."
When asked why he believes he still has a shot at the NBA, he eluded to Rodney McGruder, a former teammate at K-State and expressed why McGruder is the main motivator as to why he pushes so hard to make it to the pros. "A good friend of mine I played with all four years, he played in the D-League last year and he won the NBADL championship and the Miami Heat signed him, so that kinda gave me the motivation and the urge to go back to the D-League take another shot at the NBA again after watching him do it and grind for it." McGruder played for the Sioux Falls Skyforce who became the 2016 D-League champions in their 2-1 over the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Henriquez had quite the college experience, but post college it did not quite shape up how he wanted it to. However, there are many other athletes in his position, so he left some uplifting words for those players who are on the same track as he is, but still dreams of a shot in the big league.
"Just keep grinding. You can play elsewhere around the world and get a shot to play in the NBA because they are paying attention as long as you produce. Everybody talks. all it takes is one phone call and one team to like you. So it’s all about just grinding and staying focused and remaining the course because basketball never stops. As long as your’re healthy and you continue to strive to be great anything is possible."