Scoot Henderson Makes His Case During Workout In Portland

Sterling "Scoot" Henderson, a 6-3 guard who has played the last two seasons with the Ignite of the G-League, participated in a predraft workout with the Trail Blazers at their practice facility in Tualatin on June 3.

The Marietta, Georgia native averaged 16.5 points on 43 percent shooting from the field, 28 percent shooting from three and 76 percent shooting from the line, 6.8 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 30.7 minutes per game this season for the Ignite last season and is projected to be one of the first players selected at the 2023 NBA Draft. The Trail Blazers currently own the third, 23rd and 43rd picks.

Here is what Henderson had to say about his workout with the Trail Blazers, what he’s trying to show during the pre-draft workout process, his case for being the top overall pick, playing in the G-League rather than college, "living the dream," Damian Lillard, his former head coach Pooh Jeter and how he would describe his personality on and off the court.


How did the workout go for you today?

Scoot Henderson: It went really well. I know areas where I need to work in and that’s the same thing I’ve been working on all summer. It went really well though.

What are those areas?

Scoot Henderson: Just communicating still. I got better at it over the last two years with Ignite but I’m still progressing.

How did playing for the G-League Ignite help you?

Scoot Henderson: Definitely, just in that pro environment. Flying, being able to sleep on flight, little things like that. It’s a huge thing, I know people tell me all the time when I get into the league it’s going to be like that every other day.

What are you trying to showcase in these workouts? What part of your game are you most proud of?

Scoot Henderson: I just want to show my personality and who I am on the court and off the court. Just try to bring that spark to anywhere I got and bring myself there. Just staying present.

Do you thrive in the solo workout setting?

Scoot Henderson: For sure, that’s what I’ve been doing all summer, working out by myself. No shade to any other prospects working with (others), but that’s what I do, that’s what I’ve been doing. Me and my sister and maybe like a few guys, but I prosper in one-on-one workouts.

Tell us about your sister.

Scoot Henderson: She the GOAT, she the Marietta GOAT. Huge in Marietta and Georgia in general in women’s sports. I try to take the confidence that she has and instill that in my game as well.

How many workouts have you done? Just Portland and Charlotte?

Scoot Henderson: I think there’s one more in Charlotte.

Is this stressful for you?

Scoot Henderson: Naw man, I’m living the dream. This the dream right here. This the dream of what I’ve always wanted. My plate might be full but I’m gonna eat. I’m hungry. It’s what I worked my whole life for. This what me and my dad and my sister, all them hours in the gym, me and my trainer. I’m here, I’m living the dream.

If you were going to make the case that you should be the first pick, what would you say?

Scoot Henderson: You always want a guy like me, that dog mentality. Just my personality, the culture I bring to the locker room. I’m a great leader, I’ll tell what’s up and I can do everything on the floor. I can do everything on the floor. I’m going to go out there and give my 110 percent every day. And that’s the thing about me: I’m very consistent in effort. Even if it’s not there, I just try to even it out the next game, try to get right to it. Give it a 120 if I didn’t give it 110 the last game.

You’re only working out for a few teams but you could end up anywhere if Portland trades the pick. Have you given that any thought?

Scoot Henderson: I gave it some thought but I just wanted to come out here and showcase my talent. It’s an honor being out here, it’s a blessing being in the position I’m in right now. I’m just here living the dream.

Have you spoken with Damian Lillard during this process? Do you know each other?

Scoot Henderson: Naw, the craziest thing is I text Dame like 2021 asking for advice, just little things in the game that hoopers know. He text back, I wanna say, earlier this year or last year and that’s the only relationship that we have. I seen him when I came in, dapped him up, it’s really cool. He’s a dog too, so.

Dame has been paired with a number of 6-2, 6-3 guards. Do you think you can play with Dame and why might it be different than past pairing?

Scoot Henderson: Those guys have different games than me. Anywhere I go, I think I can fit in. I can do a lot of things on the floor and I think that’s the beauty about me and beauty about being Scoot Henderson. I’m going to give 110 percent effort every time. I’m an attacker, I’m a facilitator and I can do a lot of things on the floor. I think I can fit in anywhere.

What’s been your experience in Portland and what was the message from the team’s management?

Scoot Henderson: It’s really cool out here. A lot of greenery. A lot of greenery. It’s a lot of trees. I come from Marietta, a lot of green over there but here, it’s beautiful over here. The management is great, met everybody. I’m just blessed to be here, honored to be here.

You have a guy in Pooh Jeter who knows Portland really well. What’s that relationship with him like?

Scoot Henderson: He here right now, that says a lot. Me and Pooh’s relationship, we built a relationship two years ago, I knew it was going to be a relationship that I needed in the future as well. I just went with it and he mentored me as a 17 year-old. He brought me in and chopped it up with me. There’s a lot of things off the floor that we talk about, not just basketball. He tells me “hold the followthrough, exaggerate the followthrough,” little things like that on the court but Pooh is my guy. I love Pooh, has helped me a lot in the last two years. That’s all I can say. The fact that he’s here is kinda funny.

Can you impact winning as a rookie? And if so, how?

Scoot Henderson: Definitely, I think I can impact winning anywhere I go, just bringing my talent there. But here, those guys fill in different areas of the game where the holes may be and I can fill in as well. I think I can impact winning anywhere I go, and here especially, just being guard-dynamic and being able to open the floor, in many ways. Being able to pass it, have vision. So yeah, I think I can impact winning.

How do you think your game and Dame’s game would compliment each other?

Scoot Henderson: Honestly, I love watching Dame’s game, watch film on him. I think we kind of link, as in, he’s an off the dribble shooter, catch and shoot shooter, he can drive to the basket, he can do a lot of things on the floor, he can pass, lead at a high level. I think I can do those things as well, just areas where I might be faster just because I got younger legs, little things like that, little things like that that I can really bring to the team.

You seem like you have a high level of confidence for your age. Where does that come from?

Scoot Henderson: It comes from my family always hyping me up. It comes from just me, my dad, all them hours working out. That’s what it does, it gives you that confidence to go out there and perform and do it in front of whoever.

What did you ask Dame when you sent him that text years ago?

Scoot Henderson: I asked him for advice about forgetting about the last shot and going on to the next play. He sent me, like, a whole paragraph back, so that was pretty cool. Me and Dame, actually it was a USA call, I was at one of the USA camps -- I think it was before COVID or after COVID -- but he was on a call and I was like “Dang, that’s Dame Lillard.” That’s cool.

You mentioned wanting to show your personality. How would you describe your personality?

Scoot Henderson: Just very confident. Friendly. And just myself. A lot of people just try to fit in but I make everybody comfortable around me, everybody love me. That’s what I try to portray. Try to make people perceive me as myself, unique. Just one of a kind, really.