Aloysius Henry first day in Estonia [Video Clip]
My Brother is Living Our Dream
“The feeling of stepping on to the court today brought tears to my eyes because my dreams came true.” ~Aloysius Henry
What better way to celebrate your 26th birthday than to live to witness your dream coming true? On his birthday, September 23, 2014, my brother, Aloysius Henry was geared up in his first professional basketball uniform—living the dream—our dream—as a professional basketball player.
When I asked my brother how he felt to be playing at a professional level, he replied, “I felt so emotional because I couldn’t believe this was happening.” I related to his emotions as I watched and understood the roadblocks that he faced on his journey to fulfilling his dream. In the basketball world, some might say that I paved the way for him to pursue the game, but in fact, my younger brother has always been one of my true inspirations.
In 2010, after completing two years at Three Rivers Community College of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, my brother became the fourth Saint Lucian to play basketball at the NCAA Division One level. Two years later, he graduated at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). The majority of college basketball players ultimate goal is to someday play in the NBA, however on June 25, 2012, my brother went undrafted in the NBA Draft making him an unrestricted free agent. That did not stop him from pushing forward. He continued to persevere. I remembered the conversation we had on the day he told me that he had four teams of the NBA Development League interested in him. I was so thrilled; as if I was the one about to get signed. A few days before the NBA D-League draft, he was advised that he couldn’t enter the draft due to immigration issues. I felt crushed.
“So, what’s next? Are you out of the game?” I asked him. Judging by his response I was convinced that he would never touch a basketball again. What a waste of 6-feet-10-inches, I thought to myself. To be honest, I was disappointed in his decision because I knew for a fact that he should be playing at the pro level. As the older brother, I wanted to put the pressure on him so that he wouldn’t give up so easily. I respected his wishes when he told me that he wanted to focus on his family. That was a grown man move.
“Bro, why you’re going to New York?” I asked him over Whatsapp on September 7, 2014.
“I’m going to get my visa and going overseas to hoop.”
“No way! When did that happen? You never told me anything.”
Wow! What a surprise. I wasn’t expecting that in a million years.
Even though my brother and I lived in two completely different cities and I hadn’t seen him since my graduation of May, 2009, we’ve kept in touch via social media networks. It has been over two years since my brother has played any competitive, organized basketball. Over these years, I’ve watched him develop himself into a man. He is now married to Whitney who is also the mother of his first son, Elijah Marvin Henry—a beautiful family of three. I thought he was living life after basketball like an average, working, family man who had put family first. I also remembered he mentioned that he was venturing into opening a basketball academy for kids.
“How did you keep yourself motivated to fulfil your dream in the past two years?” I asked him.
“My son and my wife,” he answered.
“How did you get that basketball contract?”
“Because of the head coach, Heiko Rannula. He reached out to me on Facebook three years ago and been connected since,” he said.
“Why you didn’t take the contract back then?”
“Because of Elijah and I had passport issues.”
I am proud to say that my brother, Aloysius Henry is signed to KK Pärnu, a professional basketball team of Estonia. Seeing my brother living his dream feels like I just achieved my dream too. I look up to my brother. This is just the beginning...