Fontbonne star juggles hoops, soccer

Just like her teammates on the Fontbonne Hall girls basketball team, Katie Henderson dribbles a ball during pre-game warm-ups. Except, with Henderson, the practice causes coach Steve Oliver to scream.

“It drives me absolutely crazy,” he said.

That’s because the junior does it with her feet.

Henderson is a standout on the Bonnies’ girls soccer team along with being a starting guard on their basketball team. She earned The Post’s All-Brooklyn girls soccer Player of the Year honor and was named to The Post’s All-City first team in the fall for leading Fontbonne to a fifth CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title in six years. On the court, Henderson is one of the top players in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division II.

“She’s a tremendous athlete,” Oliver said.

Clearly. Henderson had a hand in 12 straight points at one point in the fourth quarter of a 51-23 home win last Thursday against St. Edmund Prep. She stripped an Eagles ball handler and went coast to coast for a layup to start things off, then penetrated into the lane and found senior Sarah McCarthy for a baseline jumper. Henderson finished the run with four straight inside layups.

“She’s really very skilled,” McCarthy said. “She plays very unselfishly. We play off her energy. It makes you better.”

Henderson started playing AAU basketball with the Lady Hornets in fifth grade and began playing soccer shortly after. Oliver said if the versatile, 5-foot-7 guard focused completely on basketball, she might have had a shot at a Division I scholarship because of athleticism, strength, shooting ability and keen court awareness. He thinks she could still play at the Division II level, but Henderson envisions her future on the soccer field.

“I’m a little sick of basketball,” she said with a laugh.

Henderson had 26 goals and 15 assists playing midfield for the Fontbonne Hall girls soccer team. She had a hand in four of the team’s five goals in its Brooklyn/Queens championship victory against Notre Dame. Henderson just recently began playing with a soccer travel team again when she joined the Brooklyn-based Dynamo. She’ll be taking a trip to England with the program this summer.

Drawing comparisons between the two sports is difficult, she says. Aside from all the running, she doesn’t think her skills in either carry over. But playing soccer in the fall certainly gets her prepared for basketball in the winter.

“Before the season everyone is like, ‘Oh, I’m so out of shape,’” Henderson said. “I’m ready.”

Oliver is already looking ahead to a Diocesan title, which would be Henderson’s second in as many seasons.

“If a team goes man-to-man on us, they have a very hard time guarding her,” Oliver said. “She could be one of the top three players in the league.”

Not bad for a girl who’s sick of hoops.