Henry Baddley, an explosive three-star winger, will have the eyes of some big names in the basketball world on him when he makes his debut as part of the Butler Bulldogs head coach Chris Holtmann's squad this year.
In fact, some basketball royalty has already made it clear that he’s been following the career of the St. Mary’s High School graduate.
That’s right, King James himself has been watching Baddley. That makes some sense, as Baddley graduated from James’ alma mater, Akron, Ohio basketball-powerhouse St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. But, it wasn’t just the pedigree that drew the eyes of LeBron and plenty of other high-school basketball observers during Baddley’s high school career.
Baddley earned those eye-balls with some top-notch play. He helped lead the Irish to their first unbeaten regular season since James brought the basketball world’s attention to the school. Baddley impressed plenty of people during that campaign and made the all-Ohio Divison II second team while scoring 18.1 points per game. The team would finish their season at 26-1, ranked No. 3 by USA Today, after losing to Cleveland Central Catholic in a regional final game.
ESPN notes that Baddley is a "good athlete with a nice frame on the wing." He’s certainly athletic, and can attack the rim, thanks in part to that large but still-expanding frame that includes long arms and broad shoulders. He’s also a pretty good jump shooter, and can hit difficult shots with more accuracy than most.
He also won’t hurt the Bulldogs on the other side of the floor, as he’s capable of being an impact player on defense despite his lack of size on the wing. His ball-handling skills leave something to be desired, however, and he needs to work on consistently finding and making good shots.
According to the Akron Beacon-Journal, those tools helped Baddley stand out among a talented Irish squad as a dynamic force on the offensive side of the floor. The paper called Baddley "the most explosive player on his team," a claim that his former coach seemed to back up.
Irish head coach Dru Joyce told the paper that Baddley had an impressive knack for embarrassing defenders who tried to "wall up too far underneath" on the 6-6 SF.
"Shame on him," Joyce said of those ill-fated defenders, "because Henry’s going over him. Those are exciting plays, they give us some energy."
"We’re rolling," Joyce continued, telling the Beacon Journal that "there’s not too much that’s going to keep us from getting the victory."
Sounds like music to the ears of Butler fans. Check out some of his finest moments below if you’d like to see that explosiveness in action for yourself.