Mikey Henn: Proof That Hard Work Pays Off
The transfer portal has transformed the landscape of college basketball and has made transfers just as valuable as incoming freshmen.
Penn State has taken notice of this trend and head coach Micah Shrewsberry has made huge splashes in the transfer market. This season, the blue and white staff did it again and landed three key transfers in Cam Wynter, Andrew Funk and Mikey Henn.
One of these transfers, Mikey Henn, has had a whirlwind of a collegiate career before ending up in Happy Valley.
Henn had traveled a lot in his collegiate career and played for four different schools before enrolling at Penn State. He began his career at UC Davis before transferring to Cal Baptist where he would play for three seasons.
After missing the 2019-20 campaign due to injury, Henn changed scenery once more and transferred to Portland. He started in 20 of 21 games, but still felt like he needed a new environment, so he transferred again to Denver.
Henn had a successful season at Denver, averaging 8.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 27 starts. He totaled 16 double-digit scoring efforts and was a great three-point shooter.
Now, with six years under his belt, he finally made the big jump he was pursuing. With experience in the portal, he made a decision to join the Nittany Lions in June of 2022.
Henn didn’t see much action during the early parts of the season and only notched more than 10 minutes three times in 20 games. Things changed for the Bellevue, Washington forward when he made his first start as Penn State hosted the Michigan Wolverines on Jan. 29.
“I’m always confident in myself,” Henn said. “I knew a time had to come where my name was going to get called.”
Henn showed up against the Wolverines and had one of his best performances as a Nittany Lion. He scored 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field and drilled a pair of triples to erupt the crowd.
His defense against Hunter Dickinson, his versatility as a passer and his team-first mentality were all on full display as he ended the game with a plus-21 rating.
“It feels great,” Henn said. “I’ve just been waiting for the opportunity and I feel like I always play my best against the best players.”
Henn’s hard work this season has not gone unnoticed to the rest of the staff. He was often seen getting shots up and hitting the weight room after games he didn’t play in.
Coach Shrewsberry has been an advocate for grittiness in his teams and challenged them after a disappointing loss to Rutgers on Jan. 24.
“I thought Mikey and Caleb played really well in practice those two days, and I wanted to reward them,” Shrewsberry said.
Shrewsberry has emphasized the importance of having good practices and he made sure to note that starting spots were earned and not given.
Henn is a prime example of what hard work and dedication can bring to players in all sports. He has endured a variety of adjustments from bouncing around between institutions, but stayed focused and executed when he was called upon.
Shrewsberry believes in all of his guys and Henn has added to the total of key transfers that his coach has brought in.
“I think he practices well and he stays with a good attitude,” Shrewsberry said.
Henn will continue to provide a spark in the lineup for Penn State both on the court and on the bench. Young players should take notes of Henn’s career as he pushes forward as an example of proof that hard work pays off.
As Senior Night falls upon the blue and white, Henn will play one last time inside the Bryce Jordan Center and should be proud of what he has accomplished in his career.
“My favorite part has been your infectious smile and pure joy while you play the game you love,” Mikey’s father, David Henn said.
Thomas English is a second-year broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email email@example.com.