Marshall Henderson, the eccentric, loud-mouthed sharpshooter, is returning to Ole Miss Basketball, taking on the role of graduate manager.
During his time at Ole Miss as a junior in the 2012-2013 season, Henderson led the Rebels to an SEC conference championship. He did this with electrifying performances and hitting multiple buzzer beaters.
Henderson lives in the Ole Miss history books for his performances on the court, but at the same time, he has a troubled, crime-ridden past. At times, his issues off the court would carry over on the court with his emotional playstyle.
The saga of Henderson’s public criminal history begins when he was a senior in high school. In May of 2009, Henderson was arrested in Texas for attempting to buy marijuana with counterfeit currency. Then in 2010, he faced charges of forgery and was put on two years of deferred adjudicated probation.
After his brief run-in the law, Henderson attended the University of Utah where he had a productive freshman campaign until he was ejected for throwing a punch during a game against Brigham Young University. He was eventually suspended for his actions and announced his transfer a few months later.
Henderson landed back in his home state of Texas, sitting out a year at Texas Tech where he never saw the floor. A coaching change there gave him the need to transfer again, this time opting to play junior college basketball at South Plains College.
While at South Plains in February of 2012, he was sentenced to 4 months in jail after violating his probation by testing positive for marijuana, alcohol and cocaine. However, Henderson only served 25 days in jail, and following his release, he helped lead South Plains to a junior college national championship.
Henderson then transferred to Ole Miss where he would have a monstrous junior year, averaging 20 points a game and leading Ole Miss to its first SEC tournament championship since 1981. Henderson was named tournament MVP, and in his post-game presser, he had some words about being selected to Second Team All-SEC during the regular season.
“I guess that’s just a shoutout to all the other coaches out here,” Henderson said. “They’re losers. They didn’t win this tournament. We did.”
Henderson got into more trouble during the NCAA tournament when he pretended to smoke marijuana after hitting a 3-pointer. In true Ole Miss fashion, the team lost the game, and Henderson was caught on camera kicking over a water bottle while flipping off the crowd.
Following his junior year in June of 2013, he was suspended indefinitely for failing a drug test. This was later reduced to a four-game suspension that spread across the season in 2013-2014. He followed up his junior campaign with similar scoring production but had a slight drop in efficiency as he and the Rebels did not repeat as conference champions and fell in the second round to Georgia.
After departing Ole Miss, Henderson went undrafted in the 2014 NBA draft and signed short-term contracts in Italy before playing stints in the Middle East. Henderson ended up signing to play in Qatar in the fall of 2014, where he helped his team win the Arab League Cup and was named tournament MVP.
Henderson stayed in the Middle East, and in February of 2015, he signed to play in Iraq. He had a brief stint there, leading to his return to the United States. In the fall of 2015, he signed with the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. This new contract with the Kings did not last long, as he was waived after only one preseason game. He continued with brief stints in the NBA’s developmental league before he played one last season in Italy in 2016.
After Italy, he moved away from professional basketball. The last time Marshall suited up and played in a real game was in the summer of 2017 when he joined Ole Hotty Toddy, a collation of Ole Miss basketball alums, to play in ESPN’s The Basketball Tournament, which is an annual $2 million, winner-take-all tournament. His team was eliminated in the first round.
Since then, Henderson has made an effort to move away from being the bad boy of college basketball. In 2018, he started coaching high school basketball in Texas, and last season, he served as an assistant coach at Thomas University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school.
“We love having our former players back to Ole Miss to pursue their master’s degree and further their coaching careers,” Coach Kermit Davis said in a press release about Henderson’s return. “We are excited to have Marshall back with Ole Miss Basketball and join our program as a graduate manager. In talks with Marshall, you can tell his great passion for basketball and working with young people.”
Only time will tell if Henderson will be able to move away from the controversy-ridden legacy he built at Ole Miss, but in the meantime, it appears the fans are glad to have their bad boy back.