Naperville North senior guard Layla Henderson has a fame for doggedly chasing down opponents’ greatest participant.
However main scorers aren’t the one factor the Johns Hopkins recruit is serious about catching.
Henderson needs to change into an FBI profiler.
“She has a powerful curiosity in serial killers,” her father, Lee, stated. “She research and profiles them.”
That has led to some fascinating interactions between Layla Henderson’s mother and father and her lecturers.
“Her sophomore 12 months, she wrote a paper on the correlation between the brains of toddlers and the brains of serial killers,” Lee Henderson stated. “On the parent-teacher conferences, her instructor stated, ‘If I didn’t know the household higher and know Layla higher, I could be a bit of involved.’”
There’s no want to fret, except you’re enjoying in opposition to Layla Henderson. She’s a well-rounded student-athlete who excels on the courtroom for the Huskies (4-4) and off it, and he or she has an array of pursuits, together with studying.
“She’s a really huge reader, like on a regular basis,” senior guard Abby Drendel stated. “She actually has a e-book listing the place she tells all her pals suggestions for books and what she charges them out of 10.”
What number of of these books has Drendel learn?
“Oh, none of them,” she stated. “She likes those with huge phrases, so …”
Certainly, Layla Henderson’s studying tastes embody historical past and sociology. She stated she intends to review the latter in school, together with political science and Spanish, earlier than attending legislation college.
However how did she change into serious about serial killers?
“I don’t actually know,” she stated. “My e-book curiosity has at all times swayed towards that style, and that curiosity helped me be extra empathetic and sort of perceive how totally different folks function.”
Tv additionally performed a job.
“I did binge-watch ‘Prison Minds’ throughout COVID,” stated Layla Henderson, who additionally watches “CSI,” “NCIS” and “Regulation and Order: Particular Victims Unit.” “That positively contributed to it. I studied the totally different developmental levels and the way typically serial killers would lack that social/emotional piece.”
She will get her basketball abilities from her father, who performed at Skyline Excessive Faculty in Oakland, which is the alma mater of former NBA gamers Gary Payton and Greg Foster.
However even Layla Henderson’s mom, Kim, a lawyer, is amazed by the quantity of studying she does.
“She reads like loopy,” Kim Henderson stated. “Are you actually going to learn one other e-book proper now?”
Layla Henderson, who has a 4.3 GPA, quenches her thirst for data regardless of a busy schedule. She’s a member of the Nationwide Honor Society and the Spanish Nationwide Honor Society, is vice chairman of the coed authorities, is a bodily training chief and volunteers for the teenager board of the Massive Shoulders Fund.
“Taking part in a sport helped me handle my time higher, simply because I at all times knew I had a really inflexible schedule,” she stated. “I might plan my curiosity round that.”
The plan for her on the courtroom is at all times the identical. Layla Henderson is assigned to the opposing group’s quickest participant, and that usually means having to sacrifice her offensive recreation.
She needed to guard La Lumiere star Ashlynn Shade, a UConn commit, on Tuesday. Shade scored 25 factors to rally the Indiana prep college from an eight-point second-quarter deficit to a 54-42 win.
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However the 5-foot-9 Henderson, who had 9 factors, 4 rebounds, three assists and three steals, acquitted herself effectively.
“Protection has been my factor since my freshman 12 months,” she stated. “I knew she was going to get an honest quantity of their factors, however I wished to make her work for them. I feel I did my piece.”
Drendel stated Henderson at all times does.
“Layla’s size 100% impacts everyone she performs in opposition to,” Drendel stated. “That lady was quick, however Layla was beating her to the spot each time. Layla is general a fantastic participant, offensively and defensively.”
Naperville North coach Erin Colletti issues extremely of Henderson too.
“She positively has a fantastic basketball IQ,” Colletti stated. “She’s additionally a supportive teammate, very sort and respectful. She works her butt off, and he or she’s phenomenal to educate.”
Matt Le Cren is a contract reporter for the Naperville Solar.