Playmakers: Stephen Croone ’16 and Hal Henderson ‘92
Different Paths, Same Journey
Henderson, on the other hand, was familiar with Furman much earlier than Croone was. He grew up in the Greenville area and learned about Furman’s basketball program from an early age. His first basketball coach was the late Dan Pike, who had previously played and coached basketball at Furman. Growing up, he attended Furman games as often as he could and participated in the Paladins’ summer basketball camps. Like Croone, he received offers to play for other programs out of high school, but he knew that Furman was the best fit for him, offering prestige, tradition, and an impressive combination of academics and athletics.
Croone could not be more grateful for the opportunities he has received through his journey. He is thankful to have had the opportunity to continue his basketball career and to be a playmaker on the court, and he recognizes that the other opportunities his scholarship has afforded him are just as valuable, if not more so. Through his experience at Furman, both on the court and off, he has learned how to be a leader, to persevere, to overcome adversity, and to build lasting, meaningful relationships. He has done this in an environment that has pushed him to become even more competitive. Furman is a place where everyone is the best at what they do, Croone says. The competition pushes him to be even better in all aspects of his life. In the end, he knows that this opportunity has not only benefitted his college years, but also prepared him for a meaningful life after Furman.
Likewise, Henderson agrees that his scholarship provided him tremendous opportunities as a student-athlete. He says that the true value of a college scholarship was instilled in him early in life. Raised by a single mother, he knew a scholarship—either academic or athletic—was likely his only chance at a college education. His youth coaches and mentors also taught him that a scholarship was more than simply a chance to go to college for free. Because of that, Henderson savored every opportunity he received along the way, through college and beyond. Henderson completed a stellar collegiate basketball career while earning a degree in political science and went on to play professional basketball in Europe. He later returned to the US and a successful career in the competitive world of pharmaceuticals. What a journey. And it all started with a scholarship offer to play basketball at this small liberal arts school right in his backyard.
When all is said and done, Henderson’s goal is to leave a legacy at Furman as a difference-maker. Like every Paladin Club donor, he is doing just that. Every gift is an opportunity for a student-athlete. Every donor is a difference-maker—a playmaker—in the eyes of those who accept these valuable opportunities. Just ask Stephen Croone or any of the hundreds of Furman students-athletes whose lives were changed when they became Paladins.
When you give to the Paladin Club for athletic scholarships, you give for Croone…for the Paladins…for Furman. You can join Henderson and many other Paladin Club Playmakers by making your gift today. Visit www.furmanpaladinclub.com to find out how you can make a difference!