FORT MYERS– The pure joy in Destanni Henderson’s smile is easy to see; at just 16 years old, the Fort Myers High School freshman is going on the trip of a lifetime. She’s one of 34 athletes invited to tryout for the USA Under-16 National Basketball Team.
“The first thing you notice immediately, how smooth, how effortless she makes the game come, ” says her Florida Future AAU coach Robert Giles. “When she has the ball she makes it look so easy. The stuff that other girls have difficulty doing, she does it with ease.”
Destanni is seen as a role model in the community. Her mother and father hope her journey can serve as an inspiration to others.
“In our neighborhood we don’t have many role models and I think she’s the perfect face for girls her age,” says Destanni’s father Derick Henderson.
“She’s a very great kid, she’s humble and I’ve had a tremendous time raising her,” adds her mother, Joyel James.
Destanni not only has the support from her family, but from her teammates who are also her best friends.
In-between games and practices, the group of friends that like to call themselves “The Ride or Die Five” trade in their playbook for lyrics.
They formed the group #TheyLoveTCC and recently made a music video for the song called “Anything I Want.”
It seems like Destanni can have anything she wants.
“Not many girls can say they made it all the way there to at least tryout for USA and I’m very blessed to have this opportunity.”