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Henry hits gold mine with Darton’s latest recruiting class

Former Lee County star and Herald Super 6er DaQuenna Moore is headed to Darton after things didn't work out at Alabama State after graduation.

Former Lee County star and Herald Super 6er DaQuenna Moore is headed to Darton after things didn't work out at Alabama State after graduation.

Henry set to host annual basketball event, ‘Camp of Champs’

ALBANY — For the 28th consecutive year, Darton women’s basketball coach Lea Henry will host a pair of instructional camps in Albany this summer.

Henry, who has coached at Darton for the past two seasons after a Hall of Fame career as coach at Georgia State, will host the Lea Henry Camp of Champs at Darton next week and again at Deerfield-Windsor School from July 15-18.

The camp at Darton will run Monday through Thursday, is for boys and girls ages 5-18 and will include a wide variety of basketball fundamentals and team scrimmages.

Henry will be joined by her husband, Greg Manning, who also teaches character education basketball camps year round. Henry and Manning will host around 50 clinics this summer in seven different states, but Henry, a Damascus native, said there’s always something special about staying in Southwest Georgia.

“When I didn’t live here, I loved the opportunity to come back and work with the young people in this community,” said Henry, who starred at Southwest Georgia Academy and the University of Tennessee before winning a gold medal as the starting point guard for the United States in the 1984 Olympics. “This is where I was raised, and it’s an opportunity for me to give back to the community and interact with the kids.”

Current Darton players and an assortment of Southwest Georgia high school coaches will serve as instructors at the camps, which cost $150 per child (youth ages 5-6 cost $100).

Space is available at both camps, and registration info can be obtained by calling (404) 556-2302.

ALBANY — Darton women's basketball coach Lea Henry and the Lady Cavs went on a ride unlike any other in program history last season, winning a school-record 30 games and rising to No. 12 in the national polls.

Judging by Henry's recent recruiting class, stay tuned for more.

Henry told The Herald this week that she has signed three top recruits this offseason, including former Lee County star DaQuenna Moore, who is transferring from Alabama State. Other big names joining the Lady Cavs will be Shanae Armbrister, a Top 10-ranked shooting guard in the nation in the Class of 2013, and B'Kiya Webb, a transfer from UNC Wilmington who was one of the top prep players in Alabama last season.

"We have been sitting back and enjoying the success we had last season, and it was a lot of fun being around the team we had," Henry said. "Now it's time to move on to next season, and we are really excited. I think we will have a group of players who will the opportunity to have another great season."

It will be a team loaded with Division I talent, but no one brings more potential than Armbrister, who was recruited by several top programs — including Georgia and Florida State — but will take the junior college route for academic reasons.

Armbrister, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, is ranked No. 9 at her position and No. 61 overall by ESPNU. She was born in the Bahamas but played her final two season of high school ball at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She was named to the Miami Herald's All-Broward Team her senior season after averaging 27 points and nine rebounds a game.

"She has the potential and is talented enough to be (the best junior college player in Georgia)," Henry said. "She does it all. She can shoot from 3-point range, is a good passer and is big. She is an all-around really good player."

Armbrister will take over the shooting guard position held last season by Michelle Mitchell, who was named an NJCAA All-American and is now playing at Troy State University.

However, Henry said that Armbrister and Mitchell play completely different styles on the wing.

“Michelle was just so fast and quick. She was an open-floor player,” Henry said. “Shanae will be a very strong half-court player and will be hard to guard for her size.”

Moore, a forward, will also be tough to guard in the paint, where she made a name for herself in Leesburg. The former Herald Super 6er graduated from Lee County in 2012 as the program's all-time leading scorer (1,270 points) and leading rebounder (1,168 rebounds) but didn't fit in as a freshman at Alabama State last season, appearing in just five games and scoring nine total points.

“Her situation wasn't quite what she thought it was going to be,” Henry said. “But players know they have another route (to Division I) with us. She can come here for one year and get recruited all over again.”

Henry recruited Moore out of high school and is glad to get the 6-1 post player late rather than never.

“I think she is going to fit in with our program really well,” Henry said. “Her strength is her athleticism and her ability to rebound, and she is really a first-class young lady. She will represent our program really well.”

Webb is a 5-9 forward from Phenix City, Ala., and was named Player of the Year by the Opelika-Auburn News and The Columbus Ledger Enquirer after a senior season when she averaged 15.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.8 steals. She signed a letter-of-intent to play at UNC Wilmington but backed out of that commitment for undisclosed reasons in the wake of three other members on the team being cut in March and the roster being trimmed down to only six players.

Henry said the success the Lady Cavs had last season played a big part in landing the trio of top recruits.

“I think the players saw we were doing well and really wanted to be a part of it,” Henry said. “The other thing is that they see our players moving on. I am very committed to helping our players move on. It's not just about what they are doing at Darton. There are other opportunities out there we have to work toward.”

MOVING ON: Three Lady Cavs signed Division I scholarships after last season's remarkable run, including Mitchell, who will play at Troy State after averaging 16.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game as a sophomore and being named the Region XVII Player of the Year.

“Michelle brings so much to the table,” Troy State coach Chanda Rigby said. “She is a relentless scorer that refuses to lose and finds any way to score and help her team win. She is the perfect fit to my system and will help this team rise to the level we are expecting next season.”

Mitchell will be joined at Troy State by 6-6 forward Crystal Reed, who averaged 5.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks last season at Darton.

“One of our weaknesses on last year's team was our size,” Rigby said. “Crystal is an immediate solution to that. At a strong 6-6, her defensive presence in the lane will be problematic for our opponents.”

Chanteniece Fann, Darton's top post player last season, signed with Young Harris College. Fann, a native of Warner Robins, averaged 11 points and 6.1 rebounds a game last season and shot 53 percent from the field.

“That's what it's all about when these players come to play at Darton,” Henry said about Mitchell, Reed and Fann moving on to Division I programs. “They want to have two strong years playing in our program, but at the same time they are working toward another goal.”