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Brett Henderson leads by example

04/03/2013, 2:05pm PDT
By John Maffei

Q&A with Valley Center baseball player and track athlete Brett Henderson.

After averaging 13.3 points a game for the Valley Center basketball team in the winter, Brett Henderson is competing in baseball and track and field this spring.

Three-sport letterman, ASB president, No. 1 in his class and the probable valedictorian at Valley Center High.

Is there anything Brett Henderson can’t do?

“No, not really,” said VC Athletic Director and track coach Mike Cummings.

The 6-foot-2 Henderson averaged 13.3 points a game with a season-high 26 against San Pasqual on a Jaguars basketball team that went 23-7 and advanced to the San Diego Section Division III semifinals.

He’s 17-for-30 and hitting .560 on a baseball team that is 9-3. Plus, he has an ERA under 2.00, sporting a fastball that sits in the 88-90-mph range with good breaking stuff.

Two weeks ago, he joined the track team and went 20 feet, 8 inches in the long jump.

And he has a 4.54 GPA.

“With all he has accomplished, Brett is the most-humble kid,” said VC baseball coach Ron Sisler. “There isn’t an ounce of arrogance in him. He leads by example. He lifts people up.”

Q: When did you decide to add track to your schedule?

A: I always wanted to try it, so right before baseball season, I said “Why not?”

Q: How do you juggle two sports in the same season?

A: So far, baseball games and track meets haven’t been a conflict. Our baseball schedule is Monday-Wednesday-Friday and track meets are Thursday. I’ll miss a couple of baseball practices, but I would never miss a baseball game.

Q: Are you happy with your marks in track?

A: I knew from playing basketball that I could jump. The long jump came pretty natural. I’ve gone 5-4 in the high jump, but it’s a much more technical event. I got a 5-minute crash course before I jumped. I may try the sprints, too. Honestly, I enjoy it so much, I wish I had done this all four years.

Q: Your coaches say you’re a humble kid who leads by example. Are you a natural leader?

A: No. I had to step up. ASB has been good for me, helped me come out of my shell. We put on dances and pep rallies. I’ve learned to delegate authority, learned to recognize who has what skills.

Q: Playing three sports, how do you find time for your studies?

A: I stay up late.

Q: What’s your daily schedule?

A: Up at 6:30 a.m. and to school by 7:30. I have ASB meetings and lunch. Practice starts about 3. I’m home by 6:30, have dinner, study, do homework and get to bed around midnight. I’m a slow worker and I do procrastinate. I have a good memory, but I have to read important material more than once.

Q: Have you ever had a grade other than an A?

A: No, and I can’t slack off now.

Q: What’s your class schedule?

A: AP English, AP economics, AP government, honors physiology and ASB. ASB is a great common-sense stress reliever.

Q: Do you have a favorite subject?

A: I love math, especially calculus. I’d like to study mechanical engineering in college, so I’ll use that side of the brain.

Q: Your brother Daniel is at Harvard. Have you picked a college yet?

A: No. I’ve been accepted at Harvard and Yale as well as Westmont, Cal and UC San Diego. But I can’t say I’m leaning any one way. I haven’t visited Harvard and Yale, and I need to do that before I decide.

Q: Will you brother influence your decision?

A: I’m sure he’ll try.

Q: Do you plan to play a sport in college?

A: No. But Steven Coe, our catcher at VC, has committed to UCSD and wants me to go there with him. He thinks I can play there.

Q: If you had to pick a sport to play in college what would it be?

A: Basketball. I like it quite a bit more than baseball because it’s faster paced.

Q: Do you have a master plan for the future?

A: Not really, but I do have a direction. I want to be an engineer. And I want a job where I travel. So I’m open to something in mechanical or biomechanical engineering.


School: Valley Center

Born: 1995 in Fallbrook

Year: Senior

Sports: Basketball, baseball, track & field

Accomplishments: All-Valley League in basketball and baseball.


Favorite gym: Our place

Least favorite gym: St. Augustine

Favorite baseball field: Our place

Least favorite baseball field: San Pasqual

Pregame routine: Other then using the stretching bands, nothing special

Pregame meal: Whatever my mom packs for lunch

Favorite meal: My sister’s spaghetti

Favorite restaurant: In-N-Out Burger

Favorite baseball movie: “Major League”

Favorite basketball movie: Don’t have one

Favorite athlete: Honestly, I play sports, but I don’t follow them.

Best thing about living in Valley Center: The people and the smells — orange blossoms, the chicken ranch.

Worst thing about living in Valley Center: There is nothing bad about Valley Center. I love living here.

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