Hard work pays off, and that pay-off is even greater when you least expect it.
LSU walk-on basketball player Henry Shortess has busted his tail for more than two years. His dedication was rewarded after Thursday’s practice when coach Johnny Jones awarded Shortess a scholarship for the spring semester.
Shortess’ career stat sheet at LSU is so small and insignificant it can be scribbled on an index card. But his dedication in practice and during workouts led his coach to offer the 5-foot-9 guard recognition and free tuition.
Shortess is a junior in eligibility and in his third year with the basketball program. He is finishing his undergraduate work in the Ourso School of Business at LSU.
“I can’t thank Coach [Johnny] Jones enough for everything he has done for me,” said Shortess. “The LSU basketball program has always been very close to my heart, and the love I have for my teammates and coaches has grown tremendously these past couple of seasons. It is hard to put into words what being put on full scholarship feels like. I love all my coaches and teammates, and we’re looking forward to finishing the season strong.”
Shortess played at University High on the LSU campus. He was a four-year letter winner in both basketball and tennis, earning two first-team All-District honors in basketball and was a two-time All-Metro selection in tennis.
He was named a freshman member of the Academic All-SEC team in 2014 and will earn his second consecutive spot on the Academic Honor Roll at the end of this basketball season.
Shortess was one of just 10 students selected as a prestigious Rucks Fellow by the business school in September. The honor is given to a senior management major in any of the department’s concentrations and recipients must have a grade point average in the Top 10 of all graduating seniors in the management curriculum.
Through his first two seasons, Shortess played just 21 minutes in 10 total games, scoring six points with two assists and one steal. But according to Jones and the Tigers players, Shortess’ value goes well beyond a stat sheet.