Myke Henry is a little bit different from most players in the G League, he actually as some NBA experience. And now, he’s using the league as a hopeful pathway back to the NBA.
Henry is no stranger to the G League. After going undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft, Henry signed with the Oklahoma City Blue, the G League affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He suited up in 38 games during the 2016-17 season but only played in about 12.1 minutes per game while not making too much of an impact.
He had a brief stint in Mexico after that, playing for Rayos de Hermosillo of the Circuito de Baloncesto de la Costa del Pacifico (CIBACOPA). In Mexico, he really got a shot to play and put up 17.6 points per game and 5.7 rebounds albeit shooting 21 percent from three-point range.
Before the 2017-18 season, he returned to the G League and the OKC Blue, but that season was when the Memphis Grizzlies came calling with a two-way contract. Having spent a lot of time in the G League, Henry has learned that it’s become a league not to take lightly.
“It’s a high-level environment. Anybody can get beat on any given night,” Henry told Ridiculous Upside. “You got to be prepared, it’s a competitive league.”
When Henry signed with the Grizzlies, it was the first year that the NBA implemented the two-way contracts. The two-way contracts added two extra NBA roster spots per team from 15 to 17, with a couple of restrictions.
Players on two-way contracts are allowed a maximum of 45 days in the NBA which includes practice and travel days. The rest of their time must be spent in the G League. If a player exceeds the 45-day limit, they either have to be signed to a standard NBA contract or sent back to the G League for the time being.
For Henry, he took it as a good learning experience in which he was able to see both the NBA and G League at the same time.
“It was the first year, so now they worked out all the kinks,” Henry said. “But it was a great experience to get to go up and play against some of the top guys in the league and come back down and get a chance to develop and see both sides.”
The Grizzlies opted not to keep Henry around after that season, and instead of going back to the G League or catching on with another NBA team, he decided to try something different. He headed overseas signing a one-year deal with Ironi Nahariya of the Israeli Premier League.
He had a solid outing in Israel to the tune of 14.3 points per game, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.5 steals. That too was a major learning experience for him in which he learned things that can help him throughout his professional basketball journey. He echoed the sentiment from other players in that playing overseas tests you and makes you stronger.
“It’s a toll mentally, but it’s alright. You get battle wounds, it’s a character builder, that’s what I called it,” Henry said. “It’s a physical game over there so it can help you out a lot.”
This season, Henry returned to the Oklahoma City Blue. Through five games, he’s shooting a career-best 54.2 percent from the field while averaging 19.2 points per game, 8.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 steals. He’s hoping that this season will lead to another NBA call-up at some point.
He’s a scoring guard capable of providing a team with some instant offense off the bench. He’s also a solid defensive player. Using what he learned during his time in Memphis, he’s confident in his abilities and what he can bring to the NBA.
“The work ethic that they had there, it was already instilled in me. But that’s the biggest thing that I got,” Henry said. “I’m trying to do whatever it takes for the team to win. If they need me to defend if they need me to score. I can get assists, I can get rebounds, whatever they need me to do I’m willing to do it.”