Marcus Henry loved sports, but he was also a community leader and a dedicated journalist. To honor his memory, Newsday is introducing the Marcus A. Henry Award.
The award, named after the former sports reporter, will be given to one Long Island high school athlete each school year who not only excels on the field but who also displays great leadership off of it.
"Marcus was the type of man who always gave his best effort in everything he did," said his wife, Carmela Henry. "It's an absolute honor that Newsday is recognizing the top student-athlete in his memory. He was passionate about high school sports and all of its athletes."
Henry, who died April 1, graduated from Baldwin High School in 1991 and was the captain of the school's football team. He went on to play football at Temple University for one season before an injury cut short his playing career. After graduating from Temple, Henry began a career in sports journalism. He was a high school reporter at Newsday for 11 years.
"I think this award will mean a lot to a lot of people," said Hank Winnicki, Newsday's Sports Editor. "Marcus was well-liked and well-respected by everyone here at Newsday and by everyone he covered in sports. He was an active member in his church and a loving husband, brother and son. We all miss Marcus tremendously, and this award will help his memory live on."
Henry, a member of the Union Baptist Church in Hempstead, helped with the food pantry, media department and the after-school program.
"We'll need four people to fill the shoes of this one man," the Rev. Dr. Sedgwick Easley said. "His energy, his passion and love for his people and church were obvious. But the magnitude of his involvement didn't hit us until he was gone and then we realized he didn't do a few things, he did everything."
His brother Sean Henry was equally impressed by how many lives his brother touched through his endless devotion to his church and community.
"If you wanted a guy who gave you everything he had, that was my brother," Sean Henry said. "Our family is humbled by Newsday's recognition offer to name a prestigious award in his name."
Newsday will name the finalists for the award on Wednesday and announce the winner next Sunday.