Sky’s the limit for Barnes
IF Fil- AM forward Josh Barnes would have his way, he would readily suit up with his green jersey and go to war with the De La Salle University in the UAAP Season 78 basketball championship.
"If asked to play, I am ready to play, said Barnes, one of the more prominent players waiting -- and raring -- to see action for the Archers in the country's premier collegiate league.
"I know what I have to do and I am willing to do what it takes to help my team win. I am always a team player who is willing to sacrifice for the good of the team," added Barnes while watching a game of La Salle in the UAAP at the Araneta Coliseum.
Of course, it's all wishful thinking for Barnes for now.
The 6-3 standout can’t join La Salle while still serving the one-year residency rule.
The 19-year-old son of a La Salle-educated Filipino couple now based in Los Angeles, CA will only be eligible to don the fabled La Salle green jersey next year.
But if the basketball community, including the UAAP family, is not looking closely enough, Barnes is now making his presence felt as a member of La Salle-B in the recent Southern Luzon Colleges Universites Athletic Association (SLCUAA).
In fact, the prized find from Rancho High School who grew up idolizing LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in the NBA and Jayjay Helterbrand and Terrence Tomeo in the PBA, did more than his share to be considered as the next King Archer.
His numbers surely validate his claim. If he would not get the most points in the Archers' third-place finish behind STI and San Pedro College of Business Administration, he would get the most rebounds or most assists.
• Mythical First Team.
• 16 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.5 steals.
"It was only my first tournament for La Salle since joining them late last year. I had so much fun playing for them," said Barnes, who joined the Taft-based school as a management student in September 2014.
Before coming to Manila in May 2014, Barnes did make a name as one of the brightest young stars in Southern California.
Barnes was easily one of the most dependable scorers for Rancho High School for four years. In his senior year, he scored 30 points more than five times, the most in eight years in the league.
Last year, he was recruited to play in the Philippines by multi-titled coach Nomar Isla.
"When coach Nomar asked me, I did not hesitate to take the opportunity to return home and play in my parent's native land,"explained Barnes, who has two siblings, a sister, 17, and a brother, 7.
Barnes was initially recruited to play for the University of the East Warriors in the UAAP, but had to pack his bags elsewhere when Isla decided to take a job as coach of the Brunei national team.
It was a blessing in disguise for Barnes.
He immediately found his place in La Salle, the same university where his father, now a police officer of 15 years in Los Angeles, and his mother, an IT manager at the San Bernardino County, both studied.
"It's truly a big honor to be able to play for La Salle. Both my father and mother are very happy to see me wear green while playing. They are really proud La Salle products," said Barnes, who now lives alone in a place near La Salle.
He said that his daily schedule now includes regular scrimmages with the Archers and his management studies.
He also finds time to visit his lolo and lola in Paranaque and Quezon City.
"Spending time with them and getting to know more about our Filipino culture are also part of my plans,"added Barnes, who also regularly works out at the Elorde gym along Taft Ave.
What is his long-term plans?
"Whatever is God's plan I will willingly embrace. For now, I'm really determined to make it here, play for La Salle and make the most of my God-given talents," he said.
The future looks bright enough for this talented young man.
With the right motivation and proper exposure, the sky's the limit for Barnes.
The UAAP and the PBA can't wait for new heroes.