Former Hazelwood Central girls track and field star Ashley Henderson is getting ready to conclude a fabulous collegiate career at San Diego State this weekend.
Henderson will be competing in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at this weekend’s NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon. After a state-championship career at Hazelwood Central, Henderson went on to become one of the top female track athletes in the history of the Mountain West Conference.
Henderson led the Aztecs to the women’s team championship at the Mountain West Conference Championships. She won the 100 and 200 and anchored the Aztecs to the championship of the 4x100-meter relay. She is a three-time MWC champion in the 100 and 200.
For her efforts, Henderson was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the MWC Championships, which is the fifth time she has won the award in her career. She holds the school record in the 100, which she accomplished in late April when she turned in a sizzling 10.98 seconds at the Desert Heat Classic in Tucson, Arizona. It was the fastest time in the world in 2018; plus, she became the first San Diego State woman in history to break the magical 11-second barrier.
Henderson has earned All-American honors several times during her career at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. She was second in the 200 and fifth in the 60-meter dash at this year’s Indoor Nationals. As a sophomore, Henderson also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200.
Ben McLemore Giving Back
Former Wellston high basketball star and current National Basketball Association player Ben McLemore of the Memphis Grizzlies is giving back to his community with a weekend full of excellent activities.
On Friday, McLemore will be hosting a backpack giveaway and a free basketball clinic for kids at the Redman Center in Wellston. On Saturday, there will be a Community Career Fair from noon to 2 p.m. There will also be an Awards Banquet from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the University City High School Auditorium to honor distinguished students from University City and Normandy high schools. The event will also honor people in the community who are making a difference with area youths. The final event of the weekend will be a celebrity basketball game, which will be held on Sunday at Normandy High School.
McLemore was one of the top players in the rich basketball history of Eskridge High in Wellston, which closed its doors in 2011. He went on to have a great freshman season at Kansas before being a NBA lottery pick with the Sacramento Kings. He joined the Grizzlies for the 2017-18 season as a free agent.
R.I.P. C.M. Newton
College basketball coaching legend C.M. Newton died this week at the age of 88. C.M. Newton was one of the most important men in the history of the Southeastern Conference. A quiet and humble man, Newton was a socially conscious individual who made many bold and progressive moves for African-Americans during his iconic career in athletics in the deep South.
As the head coach at Alabama in 1976, Newton fielded an all-black starting five that won the SEC and nearly upended Indiana’s undefeated season during the NCAA Tournament. I really loved that team that featured Leon Douglas at center, Reggie “Mule” King and Rickey Brown at forwards with T.R. Dunn and Anthony Murray in the backcourt. They were an outstanding team to watch.
More than two decades later, as the athletic director at the University of Kentucky, Newton hired Tubby Smith as the first African-American coach of the school’s storied basketball program. Smith went on to lead the Wildcats to the NCAA national championship in 1998.
C.M. Newton was a great coach, great administrator and a great man.