James Henderson
James Henderson
Title: Volunteer Assistant Coach

James Henderson returns this season serving as a volunteer assistant coach. In this capacity, he brings over 45 years of experience playing competitive basketball. Coach Henderson focuses on fundamental skills and players’ basketball IQ. He also encourages the players to focus on completing their education. For Coach Henderson, basketball has provided a platform for personal and professional development. “James is an invaluable resource to our program. His work with our posts and the overall impact he has on our players work ethic and skill development is essential to our success,” said Head Coach Chanda Stebbins.

After graduating from Fernandina Beach High School, Coach Henderson pursued his education on a full four-year basketball scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College. In 1981, he was named NAIA All-Conference, All District, and Honorable Mention All American. At Birmingham-Southern, his four-year team record was 106-23. Coach Henderson has a “winner’s mentality” which has played a key role throughout his basketball career. During his four years at Birmingham-Southern, he excelled in academics as well and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Giving back to the basketball community is a driving force for Coach Henderson. He started on this path as the assistant coach for the boys’ varsity basketball (1981 – 1984) and junior varsity coach at Gainesville High School under the leadership of Coach Kirby Fowler. At Fernandina Beach High School, Coach Fowler was the assistant coach and Coach Bobby James was the head coach. It was Coach James who encouraged Coach Henderson to relocate to Gainesville after college. Like his high school coaches, Coach Henderson is committed to serving others. He is passionate about sharing his love for basketball and strong work ethic on and off the court.

No matter the age group that he is coaching, Coach Henderson stresses the importance of hard work and the 5 Ps (Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance). He encourages the players to read a short passage from one of his favorite books, Outliers, written by Malcolm Gladwell. The author, Gladwell noted that successful athletes/performers had reached a similar milestone. He discovered that the great ones had achieved the “10,000 hour-rule” by being dedicated to improving their performance. “One of the things that makes James such a great addition to our staff is his commitment to the whole student-athlete; I love over hearing the great character building conversations he has with our players,” said Stebbins.

During his 30 years of service at UPS, he continued his commitment to volunteering by serving as a volunteer coach and trainer to youth in the community. For the past nine years, he has served as volunteer assistant coach for the girls’ varsity basketball team at Gainesville High School. With his main focus being to help youth develop fundamental basketball skills, he served as a volunteer coach for the D’Advantage (AAU) Girls Basketball, a non-profit organization, for six years. The program targeted girls, grades 5 through 11, from schools within Alachua County and the surrounding areas. On occasion, he still assists community basketball programs in the area of skill development.

In 2016, Coach James retired from UPS. He continues on his path of volunteering at Santa Fe College and Gainesville High School. Coach Henderson believes in putting the time and energy to become the best that you can be on and off the court. As you can see, Coach Henderson works hard and plays hard