Player Review: Aneika Henry
The 2014 season for Aneika Henry was another that showed her continued development into a solid post player and valuable role player coming off the bench. In her third season in the league – all with Atlanta – Henry displayed flashes of dominance that made her an integral part of the rotation.
Henry’s averages hovered around her career norms, as she averaged 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. However, she played fewer minutes than in seasons past, thanks largely to the good health of Erika de Souza and Sancho Lyttle this season, so her averages per 40 minutes showed areas of improvement.
When she did get increased playing time (she made four starts), she demonstrated that there would be little, if any, drop-off in production from Atlanta’s typical starters. She had back-to-back double-doubles late in the season, collecting 15 points and 12 boards against Phoenix on Aug. 13, and 10 points and 12 rebounds two nights later against Tulsa.
The most noticeable improvement to her game came in her field goal percentage. After shooting 46.8 percent as a rookie and 45 percent last season, Henry shot 58.2 percent from the field in 2014, making 64 of her 110 field goals.
Although her average of 3.4 rebounds per game might not be impressive on the surface, Henry proved to be an above-average rebounder, particularly offensively. She was sixth in the league in offensive rebounds per 40 minutes (4.3) and 13th in total rebounds per 40 minutes (10.6).
Henry also proved her ability to defend the paint, ranking fifth in blocks per 40 minutes (2.1), while collecting 23 on the season.
Lastly, Henry once again proved to be durable, playing in all 34 games. She has not missed a game during her three-year career.
Overall, Henry was happy with her performance last season, although she still knows she has room for improvement.
“I felt great,” said Henry. “Most of the time when I got the chance, I produced well. Hopefully next year I continue to improve so I earn more minutes and can do even more.”
Looking ahead to 2015, Henry stated that she is hoping to make the greatest strides in her mid-range game.
“I’m trying to improve my outside strengths, because I’m more of an in-the-paint kind of player,” she said. “I’m trying to work on being more effective when I catch the ball outside of the paint. I’d like to improve my shooting out to the free throw line.”
With Henry, it’s important to remember that the Jamaica native did not even begin playing basketball until ninth grade, so although she now has three WNBA seasons under her belt, there is still room for her to continue to grow and improve, and no reason to believe that will not happen in 2015.