Shirley Barnes Q&A

AMES, Iowa --- There is no one more important and influential in Harrison Barnes' life than his mother, Shirley, who thus played a major role in his recruitment. She spoke with Inside Carolina shortly after Harrison announced his decision to attend North Carolina.

How excited are you to have it out of the way?
I'm just excited that he was able to make a decision and now he has a team to call home.

He spoke about you during the ceremony - did it almost bring you to tears?
Yeah it did. But you have to understand that in our house we joke around a lot. But that was a good moment.

What was it like watching all of this?
This was probably one of the best days of my life. It was unbelievable. The community support, you can't beat it. He has worked so hard to get to this level and to be able to make his choice. He was taking care of business in the classroom and he's taking care of business on the court. It's just very rewarding.

How was the UNC visit from your prospective?
I know there was a lot of talk about the alumni game, but actually the business team put together a great presentation and the atmosphere was very similar to Ames. We felt at home there. And also the presentation and the way they planned out the business plan and they already had his AP classes plugged in. It's doable. He was pre-admitted into the business college and because he's done well in the class he was able to get those opportunities.

What are your impressions of Roy Williams?
Coach Williams is quite unique. I would say that UNC didn't start off at the top of our list. But he was very persistent and he plugged at it. We were probably looking to go a different direction, but he kept plugging at it and plugging at it. Each time he would take it to a different level. He was very consistent and he was always a step ahead of everybody else - always.

Did you have a feeling of where Harrison was going all along?
I did not have a feeling all along. I would have probably thought it was a different school when we were going through the process.

Walk me through the visit process?
To be honest with you, each time we had a trip we would take notes and just kind of debrief and it was an ongoing process. Once we started looking through everything, Carolina just did a great job. They worked hard and were very consistent. They just became the obvious choice once we looked at it on paper.

When was the point where he said, ‘Mom I'm going to UNC'?
At one point he said ‘I think it might be Carolina.' But I think last night was his chance to give the last opportunities for schools. Who knows, his mind could have changed. He's 17.

Did you get a feel for how high profile his decision was?
Since we are on the road so much we don't have cable or anything. So we didn't really have a grasp of it all. We don't listen to the news because my kids are studying or practicing their instruments so we didn't really have a total grasp until yesterday.

Harrison's middle name is Bryce-Jordan. Was Michael Jordan the connection for that?
There's very much a connection. He was dominant, self confident and just such a special player. That's correct.

Harrison Barnes Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories