Harrison Barnes is on the Verge
Our Diary writer gets ready to announce; and a few other thoughts for a Thursday.
by Ryan Jones
Harrison Barnes called me the other night. This is not unusual: For seven or eight years now, I’ve been the guy who coordinates our Basketball Diary, meaning I’m the guy who calls and texts and emails and otherwise harasses guys like Harrison to get their thoughts together for a monthly diary entry. It’s often a pain in the ass, because 17- and 18-year-old basketball phenoms tend to get a lot of phone calls from media guys, and they don’t always feel like talking, let alone talking about a lot of the same things over and over again.
In that sense, Harrison Barnes is no different. In a lot of other ways, though, he’s one of the more unique dudes I’ve dealt with at this level. Here’s an example: The other night, he called me because he needed my email address (which he already had, but hey) to add my name to the email press release promoting his upcoming college announcement. It’s a small thing, but the fact that the consensus No. 1 high school player in America is making these calls himself, out of a sense of responsibility to the media who cover him regularly, well, it’s pretty cool.
It’s also while it’ll really suck if he goes to Duke, because I really want to root for the kid.
I don’t know that Harrison is going to Duke. I have no idea where he’s going—I honestly don’t even have a hunch, and refreshingly for a kid of his caliber this late in the game, no one else really seems to know, either—other than that it’s going to be one of Duke, Iowa State, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma or UCLA. He’s set to announce Friday at 4 p.m., and if you’re interested, you can catch it live on ESPNU.
Couple other things I’d like to share.
1. I’d like to apologize for doubting Brandon Jennings. Wait, I didn’t? You mean while most of the media were calling him a “cautionary tale” and predicting failure, I had his back in, like, three… different… columns? Oh. That’s my bad then. Keep it up, kid.
2. SLAM has never done a great job of covering high school cross-country. That changes today, thanks to Chad Hampton from North Central (S.C.) High School. Last week, Chad won the small-school cross-country state championship.
Why do we care?
Because he ran in f*cking JORDANS.
If this kid doesn’t make the KICKS Hall of Fame, I quit.