Former Duke guard Phil Henderson dies
Phil Henderson, a starting guard on three Duke Final Four teams under coach Mike Krzyzewski, died in the Philippines on Sunday, Duke’s athletic department confirmed in a news release Monday morning.
“On behalf of the entire Duke Basketball family, we are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Phil Henderson,” Krzyzewski said. “Our hearts go out to his mom and family. Phil was a talented player and a good man with a gentle soul. We will miss him dearly.”
The release said the 44-year-old Henderson, the senior captain on Duke’s 1990 Final Four team that lost to UNLV in the national championship game, died at his home.
Drafted in the second round of the 1990 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks, Henderson played overseas for several seasons.
In his senior season, 1989-90, Henderson led the Blue Devils in scoring at 18.5 points per game and was a second-team all-ACC pick. That March, he averaged 22.3 points per game in the ACC and NCAA tournaments. He was named to the ACC All-Tournament, NCAA All-East Regional and NCAA All-Final Four teams.
He scored 1,397 points in his Duke career from 1986-90.
Alaa Abdelnaby, Henderson's classmate and teammate at Duke, said Monday morning that he and Henderson first met at the McDonald's All-American game in Detroit before they entered Duke.
"We go back pretty far," Abdelnaby said. "I just remember bonding with him in Detroit. I just remember him being so proud of where he was from, University Park, Ill. He was very close to brother and his mother, so my heart goes out to his family."
Abdelnaby said Henderson was a great teammate.
“Phil was a soft-spoken, good guy who when we were on the floor, it was a lot of fun," Abdelnaby said. "He was a lot of fun to play with. When he got it going, he was awfully fun to watch.”