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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Emmonnie Henderson to concentrate on track and field in 2015-16 -- Thursday CARDINAL COUPLE


Dual sport student-athlete at UofL Emmonnie Henderson has decided to put her basketball career at Louisville on hold this upcoming season to concentrate on making the US Olympic team as a shot putter and discus thrower in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

" I wanted to take the year off from basketball, with hopes of returning, to focus on making it to the Olympics. It's been a goal of mine and I know I couldn't do it without the help of coach Dale Cowper and Jeff Walz, so I'm very grateful to them." 

"E" will throw in the indoor and outdoor track and field events for UofL. The indoor season traditionally runs from December through February and the outdoor season starts in March and ends in June. 

Henderson was to be one of the front-line veterans returning for Jeff Walz...which had only her, Myisha Hines-Allen and Cortnee Walton returning as players who played in the paint last season. UofL will have two freshmen in Erin de Grate and Sam Fuehring competing for playing time under the well as Sydney Brackemyer, who sat out her 2014-15 freshman year with a knee injury. Mariya Moore, who can seemingly play all five positions for the Cards, might get some looks at the "4" addition to her wing and guard skills. One never really knows about those last-minute additions and walk on, either...until we see them on the bench or at a practice. 

10 is a borderline comfort level number. Geno has done it with fewer players on the roster in the past...the persistent threat of injuries and those nights when it seems everyone has three fouls with 10 minutes to go make us hope for maybe a little more depth.

One thing is for certain...out of the 10 players currently slated to appear for UofL women's basketball in 2015-16...nine of them are freshmen or sophomores. 

Depth wise...Louisville loses about 10-15 of playing time in Henderson. As a reserve coming off the bench her first two seasons..."E" has been best noted for streak shooting, rebounding skills and being known as an aggressive defender that had a penchant for picking up fouls quickly. 

The dream to represent one's nation in the Olympics is a strong motivator and Henderson has shown significant strides in improvement at the discus...winning the ACC Outdoor Championships in the shot and discus and finishing third in the NCAA Championships in the discus.

She is ranked 12th in the United States in the discus and 23rd in the shot put. She was consistantly the Cards best thrower in both events and her discus skills improved over 25 feet this past season...making her a threat to win any event she entered. 

Jeff Walz weighs in on the decision: 

“Emmonnie expressed her goal of qualifying for a spot to compete in the 2016 Olympics,” head coach Jeff Walz said. “I truly believe this is the best move for her. We always tell our student-athletes that we want to look out for their best interests, and I think the best opportunity for her to make it to Rio to focus solely on track and field this school year.”  

We certainly wish "E" the best of luck in chasing the Olympic dream and hope to see her win many events this season in tosses for the Cards. How great would it be to see her competing in the Olympics and all of CardNation would love to see her return to the Cardinal WBB squad for the 2016-17 season. 



  1. Good for her....we will miss her this season but if she has a chance at Rio who can blame her for taking a shot.

    This will open up opportunities for the freshman bigs. Should pay dividends down the road. This season was going to be a building season anyway.

    1. Indeed, its starting to look like there could be a handful of Cardinals in Rio...most from swimming and diving.

      Kelsi Worrell will almost certainly be there, as will Joao De Lucca (representing Brazil). A couple of other of the men's swimmers might make their country's teams as well. Our swimming program is significantly international, so the Cards could very well be spread out over several countries.

  2. Congrats to E but that's gonna present some serious challenges for our BB club.


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