Sports

Auburn's Prater, Henderson get chance to play together for first time at Lewis-Clark

Marquis Prater, left, and Kevin Henderson will both attend and play hoops at Lewis and Clark State College next season. - Shawn Skager/Reporter
Marquis Prater, left, and Kevin Henderson will both attend and play hoops at Lewis and Clark State College next season.
— image credit: Shawn Skager/Reporter

Auburn High School graduates and brothers Marquis Prater and Kevin Henderson will finally get a chance to play together on the same team when they turn out for Idaho's Lewis-Clark State College basketball team this fall.

Although the two grew up together, refining their games against each other, a three-year age difference prevented them from playing on the same team.

"He was always on varsity when I was on junior varsity," said Prater, a 6-foot-3 forward who graduated from Auburn this year.

In his senior season, Prater helped led the Trojans to a 13-11 finish and an appearance in the district tournament.

For Henderson, a 2011 Auburn graduate who earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Montana, the decision to attend and play at Lewis-Clark comes after a year away from the game.

During his sophomore year with the Grizzlies, Henderson was stopped by campus police and charged with a DUI for driving with a blood alcohol level over 0.02, the legal limit for drivers younger than 21. Henderson was 20 at the time.

"It was just a stupid move. Me being young and just not paying attention to what I needed to," Henderson said. "Being older now and more wise, I know that stuff like that can get in the way of what I want to do in life, like play in Europe or even in the NBA if I get the chance. At the end of the day, it was really just a stupid mistake."

Henderson was suspended from the team for two games and his scholarship was withdrawn. Faced with having to foot the cost of his education, Henderson decided to leave the program. Last year he attended Green River Community College, but to save his eligibility he did not play basketball.

He said he jumped at the chance to play ball at Lewis-Clark in Lewiston, Idaho, with his little brother and capitalize on his second chance.

"It was between a few schools, but the other schools just weren't at the top of their league like Lewis and Clark is right now," Henderson said. "Plus, it's a chance to play with my little brother. That's a plus."

Prater agreed:

"It's kind of surprising. I'm more interested in getting on the court to play together because I've never done it before. I've never been on the same team as him."

Even if Prater and Henderson are similar in size and play the same position, their games are different.

"He's more crafty and smooth going to the basket, more explosive," Prater said. "He likes to attack. He's faster."

"He's more of a spot up shooter," Henderson said. "He can attack if he wants to, but he's a real good shooter."

Despite playing on the same team at the same school, Prater and Henderson won't be roommates. Prater plans to set up in an on-campus dorm, and Henderson expects to live off campus.

Henderson, who has two years of athletic eligibility left, is happy to keep playing with two former University of Montana teammates who transferred to Lewis-Clark — junior forward Nick Emerson and Newport High School graduate Jake Wiley.

Auburn coach Ryan Hansen, who coached Prater and Henderson, can't wait to see them play.

"It'll be fun to get out and watch these two guys playing with each other," Hansen said.

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