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Providence Senior Forward LaDontae Henton Helps Bring Back Respectability To Basketball Program

By Will Connolly

Name: LaDontae Henton - #23
University: Providence
Year: Senior
Height: 6-6
Weight: 215 lbs.
Hometown: Lansing, MI
Position: Forward

Playing for a team with a storied background like the Providence Friars, who have reached two Final Fours, three Elite 8's and five Sweet 16's; LaDontae Henton knew he had a lot to prove. And unfortunately for Henton and his Friars, they hadn't reached the NCAA Division I Tournament in nearly three decades (1987). However, upon arriving in Rhode Island, Henton helped make significant progress in his four years with the team, reaching the tournament in both this season and the one prior; with LaDontae playing a major role in the Friars road back to the Big Dance.

In his first season with the team, Henton averaged 14.3 points (2nd best of his career), 8.6 rebounds (best of his career), and shot almost 40 percent from three (best of his career). If that wasn't a clear sign that Henton was a rising star, we don't know what is. And although his team didn't move on in postseason play, it was apparent that Henton and his Friars were going to enjoy an ever-developing relationship over the next three years. And his second season was a clear sign of that.

In year number two with Providence, Henton's numbers dropped slightly to 13 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. But more importantly, his team had a winning record for the first time in five seasons. His squad even made a run in the NIT (National Invitation Tournament), only to fall to the No. 2 seeded Baylor Bears in the Elite 8. Little did we know, Henton had even bigger plans for the following season, as the Friars would reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years (2004). 

Much like the 2003-04 season, when the Friars won 20 games for the first time since the '01-'02 season, the 2013-14 crew boasted their best record (23-12) since the team of '96-'97, who made it all the way to the Elite 8. This team wasn't as successful as the one of the late '90s, but reaching the tournament at all is something to be proud of. And Henton once again improved his numbers to 14 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

Henton's most recent season with the Friars was by far and away his best yet; putting up an incredible 19.7 points per game, which ranks 18th in the entire country. Once again, LaDontae would lead Providence back to the Big Dance with an At Large bid, only to fall at the hands of the Dayton Flyers in the first round. We're sure Henton would have liked to have ended his collegiate career with at least one victory on College Basketball's biggest stage, but with all he's accomplished at Providence, he should feel pretty good about the legacy he's left behind for those to remember him by.

In his final season with the Friars, Henton received AP Honorable Mention All-America honors; was named to the First Team All-Big East; received the USBWA District 1 Player of the Year award; and was named to both the USBWA District 1 First Team and NABC District 5 First Team. Henton led the Big East in scoring in overall action at 19.7 points per game, while also leading in scoring in conference play as well (20.1 points per game). All these accolades will surely help his NBA draft stock, where NBA Draft Express currently has him ranked 55th amongst all seniors preparing to enter the draft.

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