Harrison Barnes is a great high school basketball talent. He’s also a smart kid, genius maybe. Maybe he’ll be the next great college player. Maybe he’ll be the next Kobe or Lebron.
One thing he certainly is already is master showman. Witness the spectacle that was his college selection process Friday. The Ames, Iowa, prep phenom chose North Carolina as his new home for a year until he flees to the land of million-dollar contracts.
The foot-7 swingman, widely regarded as the top player in the Class of 2010, stretched out the announcement, touting a draft boardesque selection of school logos and ticking off the merits of each school – until he dialed up Roy Williams and crew at Chapel Hill – via a Skype video call, no less – to tell them he was the next great seeker of the Michael Jordan throne. Let’s just hope coach Williams doesn’t make the same mistake Dean Smith did with Jordan and leave him off the Sports Illustrated cover photo.
Barnes was also considering Duke, Kansas, Oklahoma, UCLA and Iowa State, his hometown school. He made his announcement Friday before hundreds of students in the gym at Ames High School and via a live video feed watched by thousands.
Barnes led Ames to a 26-0 record and a state title last winter, but he’s made a name for himself nationally with impressive performances on the summer circuit.