Gerald Henderson: Staying in Style

Charlotte Bobcats shooting guard Gerald Henderson recently signed a three-year, $18 million contract to stay on with the soon-to-be-renamed Charlotte Hornets. He dishes about his decision to stay; his pharaoh hound, Chase; and keeping it simple
On Henderson: Shade of Grey sweatshirt, $156, Blank Canvas, 980-833-1135; Shade of Grey trench, $253, Blank Canvas; Clark Fit vintage chinos, $98.50, Brooks Brothers Phillips Place, 704-554-7031; PF Flyers Center Hi Reiss sneakers, $70, Blank Canvas

Virginia Brown: Charlotte is full of transplants from other cities—you’re a part of that. What made you want to stay?
Gerald Henderson:
Charlotte’s a great city to start out. It’s in transition. It’s small, but it’s a place a lot of people are coming to. It’s expanding. I like that. And I love our team. 

[Cues reggae music]

Leather yoke vest, $398, Brooks Brothers Phillips Place; Mini check club button-down, $175, Abbeydale 704-737-4274; Raleigh Denim “Alexander” jeans, $250, Silverfly, 980-819-7216; Silvano aviators, $120, Silverfly; Silvano mahogany watch with rubber wrist, $85, Silverfly

VB: So, you’re a reggae fan?
I don’t really like reggae. This is a Pandora station. I have the cheap Pandora with the old-school commercials still on it. [laughs]

VB: You’re 25. The Charlotte Hornets were admitted into the NBA the year you were born. Next season, that name returns. What does that mean to you?
When I was younger, I don’t know if I was a Hornets fan. I was definitely a Sixers fan, being from right outside Philly. But everybody used to wear the puffy Starter jackets, and my sister had the Hornets one—she liked the colors. I used to steal hers all the time. I hope [the Hornets] keep those colors … and the pin stripes. 

VB: The Alexander Julian purple and teal? But you went to Duke. You know he’s a Chapel Hill designer?
: I don’t really pay attention to those guys over in Chapel Hill.

VB: See, I take offense to that. I went to UNC.
You’re probably still a good person.

Grey sport coat, $995, Abbeydale; Check dress shirt, $175, Abbeydale; Knit tie, $125, Abbeydale; Medallion print pocket square, $40, Brooks Brothers Phillips Place; Blue solid dress pants, $995 for 3-piece suit, Abbeydale 

VB: I like to think so. Has UNC grad Michael Jordan been a big influence in your life?
GH: I signed on with Jordan Brand last summer. Michael Jordan’s been a great owner and just a great ambassador of the game. Obviously, he’s someone I looked up to as I was growing up. So it’s an honor to represent his brand. 

VB: You play basketball all over the country. Do you consider Charlotte a stylish place?
 Charlotte’s got its own style. You go to different cities and you see some outlandish things. I think Charlotte’s more like the style that I am: simple. It’s a little more conservative down south. People don’t dress outside of the box as much here. Even the young crowd, I feel like they keep it simple.

VB: Who has most influenced your personal style?
My mom and my sister are very fashionable women. They wear a lot of black. I think they’ve influenced me. I’ll wear colors, but I don’t get crazy. I’m usually not going to wear hot pink.

Penguin cable knit zip sweater, $165, Silverfly; Grey t-shirt, Gerald’s own; Raleigh Denim “Alexander” jeans, $250, Silverfly; CAT “Warren” boots in brown, $147, Silverfly

VB: I took a peek at your Instagram. What’s up with the pedicures?
I’ve gotten a couple in my lifetime. My feet are so jacked up, a pedicure can’t even really help.

VB: What does that tell me about your personality?
I’m willing to try new things.     

VB: So where can people find you when you’re not playing basketball?
On the golf course. I play a lot of golf. I play Longview, Ballantyne. I’m not too picky about the course. I just like to go out with my friends and have a good time.

VB: Wait, are you making a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich?
: I’m starving. Want one?

VB: I’m good. But I did notice the Aunt Jemima bottle on your dining table. You like waffles?
I didn’t have a chance to finish my breakfast! I had to get up really early and run some errands.

Joe’s Jeans chambray button-down, $148, Silverfly; Raleigh Denim “Alexander” jeans, $250, Silverfly; Silvano mahogany watch with rubber wrist, $85, Silverfly

VB: So, you are starting a basketball camp in Philadelphia. Any plans to work with local charities?
The camp is in the works, and we haven’t decided if it’s going to be in Philadelphia or Charlotte. But I’m working on a golf tournament to benefit A Child’s Place that will help homeless children. I think it’s a great organization, focused on kids who don’t have homes, clothes, school supplies … making it easier for them.

VB: You’re going back to Duke during the off-season to finish your degree. What are you studying?
Psychology. I know what you’re thinking.

VB: What’s one thing about you that you think will surprise people? 
I know how to juggle.

VB: Juggle? How many at a time?
Three. Don’t push it. I had to learn it for a high school acting class. We had to juggle while reciting a poem.

VB: What poem?
Oh, I have no idea. Something Shakespeare, I think.

Virginia Brown is an associate editor at this magazine. Despite her affection for UNC, she enjoyed talking to Henderson. And yes, she’s a good person. Email:, or follow her on Twitter at @virginiarbrown