2017-12-06 / Front Page

SGA dedicates “Lea Henry Court”

SGA, Lady Vol and Olympic standout


Lea Henry is pictured above with husband, Greg Manning and SGA headmaster Matt Dalrymple at dedication of “Lea Henry Court.” Lea Henry is pictured above with husband, Greg Manning and SGA headmaster Matt Dalrymple at dedication of “Lea Henry Court.” Southwest Georgia Academy honored alumni and women’s basketball legend Lea Henry, a 1979 SGA graduate, in Damascus during opening of the 2017-18 basketball season.

In a ceremony between the the Nov. 28 boys’ and girls’ games, SGA named the basketball court in Wayne Proffit Jr. Gym the “Lea Henry Court.”

“Fortunate to have some nice honors in my career but this to me is the most meaningful one,” she stated at the ceremony. “It’s one of those things you will never forget.”

She averaged 23 points per game at SGA, was selected to the Kodak All-American team, named a Parade Magazine All-American and became SGA’s all time leader in scoring, steals and assists. She scored over 2,000 points. Her retired jersey #34 hangs in the lobby of the gym.

Following her stellar carrer as a Lady Warrior, she played basketball for the legendary Pat Summit at the University of Tennessee from 1979-1983. As a Lady Vol, she captained three teams that competed in the NCAA Final Four Tournament. Henry was named All SEC and Academic All-American twice.

Lea was also the starting point guard of the U.S. Olympic basketball team which won the gold medal in 1984.

“The Olympics was a special time for our entire family,” Lea stated. “It was as if we had all accomplished this pinnacle in my career and the best part was that my entire immediate family was there except for my grandparents.”

“But, one of my most special memories is when I found out that Daddy Jeff stood in his living room with his hand over his heart as the American flag was raised when our team received the gold,” she stated.

“Later my six-year old sister, Kristen, said it best when we were riding down the road one day listening to the radio playing the song, ‘Once in A Lifetime.’” She commented “that’s us Lea, we had a “once in a lifetime at the Olympics!’”

She was inducted into the Tennessee Lady Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2005 and was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Lea was head basketball coach at Georgia State University from 1994-2010 where she became the school’s winningest basketball coach as her teams set a school record with eight straight winning seasons from 1997-2005. She also coached at Mercer University, the University of Florida and Stetson.

Having most recently served as the associate athletics director at Albany State University and interim director of athletics and head basketball coach at Darton State College, Henry was named the Dougherty County the district-wide athletic director in June.

Lea is the daughter of W.T. Henry and Mary Rentz Bush and is married to another outstanding basketball player, former University of Maryland standout, Greg Manning, who is a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Henry directed the Lea Henry Camp of Champs a number of years before they established the L&G Camp of Champs in 2005.

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