Brendaettie “Brenda” Henry, a dedicated academic and athletic presence at Detroit Western International High School for more than three decades and an integral member of the tournament management staff annually for the MHSAA Girls & Boys Basketball Finals at Breslin Center, died unexpectedly April 21.
Henry had served on staff at Western since 1989, most recently as an academic interventionalist in charge of working with seniors and getting them scholarships, and she also oversaw Western’s night school IMPACT (formerly Second Chance) Program that assists high school students with credit recovery.
She also had served as Western’s athletic director for four years and coached volleyball, basketball and track & field, and she was a registered MHSAA basketball official for 14 of the last 16 seasons.
Every winter for nearly 15 seasons, Henry’s educational service extended to her MHSAA basketball family as she contributed to championship weekends at Breslin and previously Eastern Michigan University.
“Brenda had a huge heart for people, and that’s why she was such a valuable part of our basketball tournament staff for so many years,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “She was a huge reason the Breslin experience has been special for so many people.”
Henry, an alum of Detroit Northern High School, worked in Detroit Public Schools for more than 35 years total. She also was a sign language interpreter and active part of her church community.