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H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Thursday, December 14, 2000



Making the
transition game

With the skills Brigham Young University-Hawaii men's basketball player Kerry Hendrickson demonstrates on the court, few would guess that he has only been playing the game for only six years.

Though the 6-foot-4 senior swingman grew up in the hoops haven of Brooklyn, N.Y., he is a native of Trinidad and started out as a soccer player.

"Once I started growing and became too big for soccer, I decided to try basketball," said Hendrickson. "The footwork and running from soccer definitely helped me make the transition to basketball."

With his team-leading 21-point average to go along with six rebounds per contest, the upper half of his body appears to work pretty well, too.

Hendrickson's scoring average is tied for second best in the Pacific West Conference and his rebounding is good for a share of 13th place. This despite starting just one of the three games and playing just 23 minutes per contest while recovering from a knee injury.

Perhaps even more surprising -- considering his relative inexperience with the game -- Hendrickson has shot 59 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 93 percent from the free-throw line.

"My offensive game is OK, but coach (Ken Wagner) has really challenged me to improve defensively," said Hendrickson. "If I can make my defensive game as good as my offensive, everything else should fall into place after that."

This is Hendrickson's first and last season with BYUH after spending last year with Division I Buffalo and the two before that at College of the Desert Community College. His College of the Desert coach turned Hendrickson on to the BYUH program.

"I love it out here and I'm enjoying what I've seen so far," Hendrickson said. "The game is a little less physical and the guys are not as big as Division I, but I have really good teammates, some who could play Division I. I learn from all of them every day. We want to do well in our conference, make a push all the way to Bakersfield and the national championship game."

Hooping it up

BYUH has nonconference home games against Seattle Saturday, then next Tuesday with Lawrence. Next Thursday through Saturday, BYUH hosts the Yahoo! Sports Invitational. The Seasiders' first-round opponent is No. 13 Southern California.

On tap for the other local teams, Hawaii Pacific (2-4) hosts Southern Nazarene on Saturday and Seattle next Tuesday at Mid-Pacific Gym.

Chaminade (3-3) plays at Northwest Nazarene Saturday. Hawaii-Hilo (0-4) hosts the Coconut Coast Classic Tournament beginning Sunday.

Brandon Lee, Special to the Star-Bulletin

Hawaii Pacific
U.H. Hilo

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