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Long IslandObituaries

Former Duke star Phil Henderson dies at 44

RALEIGH, N.C. -- It was summer 1986 when Robert Brickey first met Phil Henderson, and the highly touted incoming freshmen were at a six-week pre-college program at Duke.

Then they played pickup against David Henderson and Johnny Dawkins.

"That was an eye-opener," Brickey said.

Over the next four years, Brickey and Phil Henderson went to three Final Fours and laid the foundation for Duke to become the powerhouse program it is today.

Brickey, along with the rest of the Duke basketball family, was shocked to learn that Henderson died Sunday in the Philippines of cardiac arrest. He was 44.

Henderson is survived by five children: Genesis, 21; Harrison, 15; Adonia, 6; Athalia, 5; and Azriel, 4.

"Please tell me you've got the name wrong, or you went to the wrong apartment, tell me you made a mistake," Brickey said of his reaction to the news. "It's tough. It's tough for everybody. He was just a fun-loving guy. Loved life. Loved basketball."

Henderson was still involved in the game. He had been in the Philippines since last year, said his ex-wife, Shervonne Henderson, and was the director of the Filipino Basketball Academy.

Henderson, who played at Duke from 1986 to 1990, was a member of the 1988, 1989 and 1990 Final Four teams. He finished his Duke career with 1,397 points, 330 rebounds, 217 assists and 128 3-point field goals in 115 games.

"There's no question he was an integral part of our success during that time period," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He was a really talented player and could really score the ball deceptively. You didn't think of him being the athlete that he was because he kind of had a frail body and was thin. But he could shoot, really a streak shooter where he could put up points real quick."

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