With great play and an outsized personality, Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson has perfectly encapsulated the Madness that is the NCAA Tournament. However, with seemingly instant fame and name recognition comes increased scrutiny not only into such present day issues as drinking and tweeting after games, but actions in the young man’s past.
Like smoking weed and buying it. A lot of it.
With counterfeit money.
Back in high school, Henderson attempted to buy $800 dollars worth of marijuana with counterfeit bills. The action, according to Deadspin, landed him in jail for 25 days and spiraled him towards a now-four-school journey that finally landed him at Ole Miss prior to the 2012-13 season.
As you might imagine, Henderson’s personality has led him on an odd and twisting path through the college basketball landscape. Before graduating from high school, Henderson was arrested and sentenced to 25 days in jail for trying to buy $800 (59 grams) worth of marijuana with counterfeit money. He was also coached by his father during high school, an experience that he has described as “freakin’ miserable” to the Lexington Herald-Leader. This likely had something to do with his decision to move out of his parents’ house when he was 18, even though he was still in high school.
After his freshman season at Utah, Henderson decided to leave because then-coach Jim Boylen’s philosophy didn’t mesh with Henderson’s “individualism.” Henderson transferred to Texas Tech, but after head coach Pat Knight was fired, the guard blew town before ever playing a game.
So Henderson went underground, transferring to South Plains College, a junior college in Levelland, Texas, where he helped lead the basketball team to an undefeated season and an NCJAA championship. While at SPC, Henderson continued to shoot an ungodly amount of threes—312 three-pointers in all, hitting 41 percent of them—and amassed plenty of technical fouls for doing things like hanging on the rim too long after a dunk.
If Henderson himself has made one thing glaringly obvious over the last few months he has balled out in the SEC and now NCAA Tournament, it is the fact that he will always be no one other than Marshall Henderson. He will never see a shot he doesn’t like or a beer he doesn’t want to shotgun.
All of that being said, however, there is an extremely fine line between punking other teams straight out of the Tourney and straight being a punk.
Right now, Henderson is walking on that like a young man who has been practicing for years — because he has.
Just ask his father, Jim Boylen, Pat Knight, the folks over at South Plains and now in Oxford.
If he can keep his antics confined to the court — more or less — he will show he has matured just enough to succeed at this level and perhaps beyond.
And at that point, he’ll be able to use real money to buy whatever he wants (probably not weed, though, but who are we kidding?).