BOISE — When the Montana lady Griz lost in Boise on Monday, it was easy to look ahead to next season. Montana will return a ton of talent, and four players they lost due to season-ending injuries will be back.
But it was also easy to see what they had lost. The heart and soul of this team and unquestioned leader, Jace Henderson played her final game at Montana, morphing from a volleyball player to a role player to an all-conference performer in her final season.
“I can’t tell you enough about the community of Missoula, but this team and the coaching staff have really been special to me, and they’ve just taught me so much. They inspired me to be a better person each day, and I’m really thankful for all the things they’ve taught me and the values they’ve given me,” said Henderson.
“To come from volleyball and decide to be a part of our program has been one of the biggest blessings I’ve ever been a part of. To get to coach a young lady — I always say this about (Henderson), but she was the same person when she wasn’t playing as she was when she played 40 minutes a game, and that says a lot about a person,” said head coach Shannon Schweyen.
Henderson has no intention of leaving the game of basketball. In fact, the daughter of former Rocky Mountain College women’s basketball coach Brian Henderson was one of 36 players selected for the “So you want to be a coach” program by the Women’s Basketball Coach’s Association. She’ll go to Tampa in April ahead of the Final Four to learn more about a new profession.
With the undeniable mark she has made on the Lady Griz program over these past few years, might we see her back on the Montana bench soon?