BEAVERCREEK — If a Mount Rushmore of Beavercreek basketball is ever created, three names will quickly come to mind: Alison Bales, Larry Holden, and Ed Zink.
Many could be considered for the coveted fourth spot, but for those entrenched in Beavercreek hoops past and present, there is likely only one other who deserves such lofty status: Terry Henley.
It was his vision that led to the creation of the Beavercreek Stars — one of the most successful and well-respected youth programs in Ohio and in the United States — and Henley Hall, the program’s facility. That legacy is being celebrated by all who knew Henley, who died July 31 at his home in Miami County.
“He did so much for the Beavercreek community in regard to Henley Hall and the Beavercreek Stars,” said Holden, who coached the Beavercreek High School boys team for 20 years. “He was a great guy. Probably one of the most giving and intelligent men I’ve ever met.”
Henley was a chemical engineer and held 11 patents in nine different fields. But it was on the court where he made his biggest contribution in Beavercreek. Searching for basketball options for sons Barron and Troy, in 1975 Henley created the Stars youth program for students in grades three to six. He personally funded the entire operation so financial concerns wouldn’t keep prospective players away.
When Holden took the Beavercreek job in 1979, Henley approached him about getting some practice time at Ferguson, which Holden was able to work out. Two years later Henley built Henley Hall on Space Drive in historic Alpha to give the Stars program its own home.
Henley’s program, which now includes teams for boys and girls in grades two through 12, had the philosophy of providing skills training over just winning, which gave the kids the foundation for discipline, great skill sets, sportsmanship, team-building and overall life skills. Henley didn’t think grade-school kids needed to be shooting at a 10-foot rim, so he held basketball camps at his Henley Hall so the hoops could be lowered.
That preparation definitely helped Holden’s teams, which at one point won 46 in a row at home over six seasons and 69 of 71 in an eight-season span.
“I had said all along, in my coaching career there were three people that probably were the most instrumental in my success,” Holden said. “Bobby Knight would have been one; an assistant basketball coach in Toledo, Jack Mattimore, would have been two; and the third one was Terry Henley for him starting the Stars program.”
All three of Holden’s kids, Brett, Jamie, and Todd, played for the Stars, as did countless other former Beavers.
“He had such an influence on so many of the kids’ lives that he came in contact with,” Holden said. “I never heard anybody talk bad about Terry.”
After Henley left the Stars program, he still supported the Beavers as a season-ticket holder. Henley was inducted into the Beavercreek Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 due to his continued influence on the high school’s basketball programs.
To honor what Henley has done for Beavercreek basketball, The Terry Henley Memorial Scholarship has been established and will be given annually to a Beavercreek graduating senior who played for the Stars program.
A celebration of life will take place on Sunday, Sept. 12 at The Lostcreek Memory Barn in Casstown. The family will receive friends and family from 2-4 p.m. with a special memorial service beginning at 4 p.m.