Former Pebblebrook boys basketball standout Jared Harper took to Twitter to compliment current Kell girls standout Crystal Henderson on her shooting abilities.
“The only person to beat me in a shooting contest,” said Harper, currently with the NBA G League’s Birmingham Squadron, in response to a highlight video posted on Twitter by Henderson.
“It’s okay big bro, you can have a rematch whenever!” Henderson tweeted back to Harper, one of the standouts from Auburn’s Final Four team in 2019.
Henderson continued to showcase her shooting abilities over the weekend and became Kell’s all-time leading scorer with 1,284 points, breaking the previous record of 1,242 points held by former teammate Kya Williams, a 2020 graduate.
“It feels great,” Henderson said. “It feels like the work is finally paying off. From freshman year, I feel like I have developed so much more, on and off the court.”
It took Henderson, a junior guard, only two games into the regular season to set the new mark. After putting up 18 points in Kell’s season opener against Southwest DeKalb, all she needed was 12 points against Troup. She did that and more, finishing the night with 33 points.
Henderson said she did not know going into the game that she was close to breaking the record.
“I was focused on the win. I was not focused on getting those points,” she said. “Honestly, I did not know that I was only 12 points away, so it was kind of like I just went in there and played a regular game until, after my pictures and everything, I went in the locker room and (the team was) like, ‘You broke the record.’”
For Henderson, the best may be yet to come. With a year-and-a-half left at Kell, she said she is looking to improve her game in all aspects.
“I feel like my game is going to get better and better,” Henderson said. “As long as I am doing what I have to do outside of practice, working out and getting better, it is going to get better and better.”
First-year Kell coach Kandra Bailey has no doubts Henderson will be able to do that.
“She’s a really good player, but she works hard. She’s always in the gym, so she is just going to continue to get better, which is exciting,” Bailey said. “She pushes her teammates to do better as well, and they all play so well together. I’m excited to see how she continues to develop her game as the season goes forward.”
The basketball success runs in the family for Henderson, the youngest of eight siblings, including five who played in college. Her brother, Scoot, a top recruit who graduated early to bypass college and join the G League’s Ignite team this fall, set the boys team’s scoring mark in January.
Henderson leads Kell (3-0) with 24 points and 3.0 assists per game, and she has her sights set on another deep run into March after the Lady Longhorns reached the state quarterfinals last season and finished as the state runner-up in 2020.
“See you at the state championship,” Henderson said.