Local B-More Hoops Import has Terps Attention

National Christian Academy in Fort Washington has emerged as one of the East Coast's most fertile talent htbeds – Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley spent time there, in addition to Deron Washington (Virginia Tech), Jessie Sapp (Georgetown), Pat Ewing Jr. (Georgetown), Anthony McClain (Cincinnati) and others. The school has several highly recruited upperclassmen, but the best may be yet to come.

Brothers Will Barton – a 6-foot-5 scorer -- and Antonio Barton – a 6-foot-2 point guard --transferred to National Christian from City College in Baltimore this fall, and have quickly jumped on to the radars of a lot of big-time college recruiters.

"Everybody who's come through to see Dante [Taylor] and Joston [Thomas] has loved Will," said National Christian coach Trevor Brown. "Florida, Pittsburgh, Miami, Georgetown, Maryland – you name it."

Will Barton is pure shooter who some in Baltimore have been comparing to local greats Carmelo Anthony and Reggie Williams. A comparison to Durant has been made as well.

"He's got that kind of talent," Brown said. "He's athletic, long and he can really shoot it. He can shoot it out to, maybe, 21 feet. He's pretty consistent from there. He's a good ballhandler. He sees the floor really well.

"He's got a little bit too much playground to his game right now, so that's what we're working on, trying to get some of the playground out of his game and trying to tell him that you don't always have to make three moves," Brown said.

Will Barton could end up at 6-7 or 6-8, Brown said.

"If he gets that kind of size, he's going to be really special," Brown said, adding that he's been working very hard in the weight room to put some muscle onto Will Barton's spindly 16-year-old frame.

There are fewer questions about Antonio Barton, because he already has ideal point guard size at 6-foot-2. The 15-year-old averaged about 24 points a game at the Bob Gibbons last summer, but because he elected not to play up in the 16-under division, few took notice. The same for the elder Barton, who played 16-under rather than playing 17-under like many elite players in his age group. Both players have been with the Baltimore Stars, though it seems highly likely they'll now play with Brown's travel team.

Both players, despite their youth, will likely see extensive playing time on a National Christian team loaded with Division I talent. Antonio Barton could very well end up being a 6-foot-4 pure point guard. Since the two have entered NCA's intensive program, which includes four days of weight training and between 1,200 and 1,500 jumpshots per week, the younger Barton has begin to catch up with his brother in terms of shooting the ball.

"A lot of people are talking about Will because he is pretty phenomenal, but trust me, [Antonio] is going to be really good," Brown said. "They're both high-major players."
Brown said Maryland is well aware of both Bartons and will have a chance to become heavily involved in their recruitment should the Terps staff so choose. We'll keep you posted…

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