Catching Up With Harrison Barnes

When he first hit the road for the spring basketball season back in April, Harrison Barnes had no idea that his summer would end up as hectic as it did. Thanks to the six-foot-six wing from Ames (IA) High's strong play with the All-Iowa Attack, he earned invites to camps like the NBPA Top 100, Nike Hoop Jamboree, LeBron James Skills Academy and the Nike Global Challenge.

Thanks to the 2010 prospects impressive showings from coast to coast, he’s also skyrocketed up the rankings. Humble by nature, Harrison Barnes is grateful for all of his opportunities but one stop stood out from the rest.

“My favorite thing about the summer was the chance to go out Lebron James Skills Academy,” said Barnes. “That was the first time I was able to go out there and play against the best in the country for high schoolers.”

Having acquitted himself quite nicely against the nation’s top players, nobody would hold it against Barnes if his head started to swell a bit. However, that hasn’t happened and 16 year old who will begin his junior year of high school on Thursday has tried to keep all of the travel and attention in perspective.

“In the aspect that you get to travel and go to all of these places and meet a lot of people and get all of this instruction it’s been great,” said Barnes of the travel. “The downside is the fatigue and being away from home and not being able to see your family and friends that much.”

Thanks to his feel for the game, sweet jumper and athleticism around the basket, Barnes has drawn a considerable amount of attention. Among those who have already offered him scholarships are DePaul, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Louisville, Maryland, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Southern California and UCLA. Meanwhile, programs like Connecticut , Georgetown, Marquette, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Stanford, and Virginia have also showed interest.

The list is long and as far as Barnes is concerned there is no reason to cut it down at this point. He wants to be as fair as possible with each school and make sure that he’s not missing out on everything.

With that in mind, Barnes plans to set up a series of unofficial visits throughout the basketball season -- it’s important to him that he be able to evaluate the basketball atmosphere at each school -- and into next spring’s AAU circuit. He has, however, planned one visit.

“Right now the only unofficial that we have planned is on October 17th for the Late Night in the Phog down at Kansas,” Barnes told Phog.Net. “Just that one is set so far because it was close and it’s more about basketball.”
Barnes was actually on the Kansas campus back in May while playing in a tournament but he didn’t really get to check out a lot.

“I went down and saw some of their facilities when I played in the Jayhawk Invitational,” said Barnes. “I know that they have some good facilities but that’s about all I know.”

Not surprisingly, the Kansas staff is looking to show him a bit more about the program during his visit to Late Night.

“I would say that their approach to recruiting me is that I’m a high priority,” said Barnes of the Jayhawks approach. “They are really looking forward to getting me on campus and show me what they are all about with their academics and their facilities. It’s been primarily coach Self and Coach Dooley.”

With more visits to be scheduled, Barnes is in no rush to finish up his recruitment and says that a decision won’t come until he’s taken official visits next Fall. For now, he’s just trying to be as honest as possible with the schools that are recruiting him because he feels they’ve been up front with him.

“I think the best way to go about your recruitment is to be open and honest at all times,” said Barnes. “I believe they (schools) are with me.”

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