John Henson's eye has been on playing in the NBA ever since his dad took him to an NBA All-Star game when he was 8 years old.
Thursday night, the former Sickles High star will see his dream come to fruition. It was just three years ago when he graduated Sickles High and headed to North Carolina. Now, he's on the move again.
Henson is on the verge of becoming the NBA's highest drafted player ever to come from Tampa Bay, projected to be drafted as high as number five.
"I think everyone is excited," said John's father, Matt Henson. "This is kind of the moment, well we are really going to New York. We're really going to the 'Green Room' so it's kind of hitting home right now."
Henson is one of a select 14 invited to New York for the draft. It's a dream come true that follows visits to 10 teams in 14 days. His toughest test?
"Probably in Chicago, a seven-hour medical examination," Matt said. "It was from one specialist to the next to the next. All kinds of examinations, and that was day one. Then on day two, he came back for another five hours."
When John left Sickles High and arrived on the campus of North Carolina, he walked into a barrage of criticism. He heard he was too skinny, wasn't a good shooter from the perimeter, he was going to be the biggest bust in Tarheel history.
He silenced those critics and is looking to do the same in the NBA.
"His thing is every team that passes him up, after a couple of years he wants those teams to look back and say, 'Guys, I think we missed on one.' That's his motivation. It doesn't matter if he goes 5 or 25. The fact is he has this opportunity and it's time for him to capitalize on it. It's been his dream and it's what he wants to do," Matt Henson continued.
"If Tampa Bay had an NBA team, that would be cool," said John Henson. "There's not really a team I prefer to go to."
His whole family will be with John in New York. Watch for the emotions when his name is called.
"You say you are going to cry tears of joy," John said. "I think it will be tears of relief."
His dad will be right there with him.
"I don't know, I might actually cry," Matt added. "One of us. That will be quite a moment."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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