You want to know how Kansas freshman guard Xavier Henry survives Boot Camp? Get up early. Really early. It's barely 4:00 a.m. when Henry's first alarm goes off, and 30 minutes later he is up and making himself bacon and eggs while the rest of his teammates are still snuggled in their beds.
Henry says his early bird approach has kept him from arriving sluggish to the grueling 6 a.m. conditioning program, even if it means only getting about five hours of sleep each night. Not that he minds or anything.
"I am just naturally energetic all the time," Henry said. "I am never tired."
Sure, other players scoffed at Henry's early wakeup call. Until, that is, when guard Chase Buford overslept and arrived late to one of the workouts earlier this week. Now, Henry has added another routine to his pre-workout checklist: waking up his roommate.
"When I am leaving, I yell [Chase's] name to make sure he is up," Henry said.
In the gym, Henry hasn't been overwhelmed by Boot Camp. Over the summer, Henry and his brother C.J., worked with a personal trainer back in Oklahoma City. Since arriving on campus in August, Henry plays in pickup games with his teammates twice a week to polish his basketball skills. Kansas guard Tyrel Reed said Henry is one of the younger players that has stood out this week.
"He is one of the first guys done and working as hard as he can," Reed said.
While Henry may have the conditioning part down, he says the toughest aspect of the workouts is learning the new defensive techniques.
"It is almost like everyday we add in a new drill that I didn't know before," Henry said. "We just pick it up as we go."
Outside of Boot Camp though, Henry has just been living the life of a normal college freshman. He said so far not too many people have recognized him around town, which is exactly how he likes it. On a team full of recognizable faces, the freshman is just happy to blend in.
"I don't want any of that," Henry said of the extra attention
Of course with official practices starting in several weeks, that will all change. For now though, Henry is hoping a successful Boot Camp will set the tone for the rest of the season.
"You just got to come in with the right attitude."