This Bekks famous, too

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 7:00 AM ET

Henry Burris strolled out of the locker-room yesterday and politely asked who was looking for him.

No one answered.

"Oh, you want the other Henry then," said the Calgary Stampeders quarterback.

"We need to get that kid a nickname."

If there was any sign Henry Bekkering will no longer fly under the radar, that was it.

Everyone, including the franchise player, knows there is another Hank at McMahon Stadium, and training camp doesn't open until tomorrow.

"What can you guys call me?" said the converted University of Calgary Dinos basketball player. "Maybe the lesser Henry. The wayyyyy lesser Henry."

Perhaps Bekkering is being a bit modest, but that probably comes from being a rookie in a sport he hasn't played full-time since high school.

The incredibly athletic Taber product gave up a chance at making the Canadian national basketball team to focus on giving the CFL a shot this summer.

Canada's cagers will be longshots to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, so Bekkering instead focused on the Stamps.

The Stamps took a flier on the 6-ft.-5, 245-lb. slotback with a fifth-round draft pick last season, just hoping years down the road he would run out his basketball options.

He surprised the organization by announcing this spring he was ready to give it a shot, even with a year of university hoops left. The 22-year-old, who was on the field for the second day of rookie camp yesterday, doesn't enter this chance completely raw.

After getting drafted last year, Bekkering would join the Stamps periodically for practice, although he would play the completely anonymous role of scout-team receiver.

This year will be different, with both teammates and coaches watching every move.

"I still think I don't have much pressure on me. I just have to come in and work hard and it will work out," Bekkering said. "Last year, I came around and did my own thing here and there. Now I really feel part of the team, at least during training camp. Any farther than that, I don't know yet.

"I have so much respect to the Stampeder organization for even giving me a chance. I have to learn so much, so it's great they are giving me that opportunity to do that."

Being that the dunkmaster has athleticism to burn, Bekkering finds the biggest challenge in not being able to improvise as much as he would on the hardcourt.

"General athleticism helps out here, but the athletes in football are really smart," he said. "That's the biggest thing, learning things and applying them right away, not making the same mistake twice.

"If the coaches get on you for something, you go out there and are aware of the mistake you made. It's more of a mental game than basketball."

The other Hank has seen Bekkering's infamous Internet videos where the kid shows off his dunking skill.

So, Burris has already given Bekkering a nickname. Who knows if it will stick?

"We're just going to call him YouTube," Burris said with a laugh.


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