March 30, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Jimmer Fredette (7) watches from the bench during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
On June 28th, 2012 the Sacramento Kings drafted John Henson with the 5th pick of the NBA Draft.
The world as we know it changed that day. Nothing would ever be the same.
My name is Jimmer Fredette, and if you're listening... you're not alone.
It all began innocently enough. I was a player for the Kings, you know, basketball, and recently married. I was happy.
Then my team drafted John Henson. Tall guy, but skinny, they drafted him thinking they'd found the perfect frontcourt partner for DeMarcus, one of my teammates. Shoot, at the time, even I was kind of excited. Things were looking up. It's kind of funny now that I think about it, even after everything that's happened, in a morbid kind of way.
Anyway, Henson gets to Sacramento and the first thing the team wants him to do is put on some weight. Standard procedure for a lot of players, they need to get a lot bigger to handle the rigors of the league. But Henson needed some extra help. He was nearly 7 feet tall, but rail thin. I almost weighed as much as him.
We had this guy on the team to help with weight and fitness and all that. His name was Daniel but we all called him Shippy. Shippy was put in charge of Henson's fitness regimen that summer.
But something wasn't right when Shippy tried to get Henson to put on weight. Henson, for whatever reason, refused to go all out in his workouts, telling the team that he simply could not handle gaining much more weight. "Trust me, it's not a good idea", he told them.
God, I hope they would have listened. Instead the team went all out in trying to get John to gain weight, even hiring former King Oliver Miller to be his dietitian. Still, Henson resisted.
The team was at the point where they were considering cutting Henson for insubordination. He was doing alright on the court, not great, but he could have been doing a lot better. The one night after a game, in a desperate gambit, the team switched out Henson's water for soda.
And it worked.
Apparently, Henson had never had any soda. His parents (who obviously knew about the condition) had never let him have any growing up for fear that he'd like it too much and gain too much weight. But after that first taste, Henson couldn't get enough of it.
That's when we learned about his condition. You see, there was a reason John didn't want to put on any weight, why his parents never let him drink soda or eat fast food and stuff like that. John didn't grow like normal people did. John had a genetic mutation that simply caused him to grow taller the more he weighed.
When he came to Sacramento, John was 216 lbs and 6'10" tall. After the soda... well, it didn't take long before he was 250 lbs and 8'0 tall. We knew something was up then, and that's when the government got involved.
That's the last I ever saw of John Henson the man. They said they were taking him in for tests. It's clear that they did ... much more than that. Much more.
I know you've all seen the pictures of the destruction. Some of you have even witnessed it first hand. They couldn't control what they had created, and it could spell doom for us all.
Make no mistake, this isn't a man anymore. The John Henson I knew is long gone. This ... beast threatens our very existence. I'll be honest, I'm not sure if we'll be able to stop it. But we have to try.
My name is Jimmer Fredette, and if you're listening, you're not alone.