Getting To Know The 2010 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team: Harrison Barnes
March 23, 2010 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
One of five 2010 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team members to be named as a 2010 Gatorade State Player of the year on March 18, Harrison Barnes also happened to earn the Gatorade State Player of the Year honor in 2009. In fact, several things Barnes accomplished in 2009-10 were repeats from 2008-09, such as an Iowa 4A state title and an undefeated year. Named the 2010 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year and 2010 Iowa Mr. Basketball, Barnes led Ames High School to a 53-0 record over the past two seasons, and he finished his high school career with 1,787 points.
Barnes said he has always been motivated by a desire to be the best, and his accomplishments are hard evidence of his determination, as is his selection to the 2010 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team. Before Barnes and his U.S. teammates look to avenge the USA's 2009 loss to the World Select Team on April 10 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore., the 6-8 swingman talked with USABasketball.com about his success, his future as a North Carolina Tar Heel and what wearing a USA jersey means to him.
What did it take for you and Ames High School to accomplish two undefeated seasons?
We got a lot of experience last year, getting to the state championship and winning it. And then this year, a big key to our success was having all the experience that we had gained the year before and just knowing what we needed to do to get to the state championship again.
It was unbelievable experience and it is still hard to grasp that we won 53 in a row and we were undefeated for two straight years. I am in love with the championships. I can fully grasp those right now, but to go through two years undefeated, that is still hard to believe and grasp.
For someone who hasn't seen you play, how would you describe your style?
My style is a little bit of everything. I can ball-handle. I can shoot, both spot up and off the dribble. I can post up. I can do a little bit of everything.
Which position do you see yourself playing in college?
I think I will primarily be on the wing. I will have the responsibilities of a one, two and three. I'm not saying I will be a point guard, and I'm not saying I will be a small forward. I think I will be a combination of those positions.
What made you decide on the University of North Carolina?
It was the best fit for me -- in terms of the basketball and the connection I had there. The academics -- in terms of the business school and the connections I could make for my future. And just the campus lifestyle. It was all just a great combination for me.
What are you most focused on improving?
My ball-handling. That is something that I really want to master as I go into the college ranks because it adds more versatility and more dimension to my game.
Do you have a favorite workout or drill?
No. I don't have a favorite. I just work on what ever I need to work on.
Do you have a least favorite workout or drill?
Doing conditioning workouts by myself is probably the hardest thing because it takes a lot of accountability and a lot of discipline to go hard every rep and stay focused.
What motivates you?
To be the best.
Is there a US team member that you are most looking forward to playing with?
Well the first two people that I'm most excited to play with are my future Carolina teammates, Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock. I'm definitely excited to play with those guys. Also another person who I'm excited to play with is who I call my little brother, Kyrie Irving. I met him this summer, and we've just been close friends since.
What do you expect to face in the Nike Hoop Summit?
It will definitely be a little different because it will be talent that I'm not used to playing against, as well as the guys on our team won't be used to playing against. It will be different rules, and I'm sure it will be a great game.
Do you feel like you have a mission to put the USA back on top of this rivalry?
Yes, I think putting the U.S. back on top is a big priority for us. When you put on that USA jersey, it's not about us individually it's about representing your country.