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The Next Big Deal

By Craig Wind, 810 Varsity Recruiting Analyst, 12/22/23, 12:30PM CST


Lee's Summit West's Barnes a freshman sensation

It was four years ago, I remember it vividly. The first time I saw
 ‘Biggie’ playing AAU basketball. Shockingly enough, it was with a
 local team (not MoKan, nor Drive 5). He was THE LARGEST 5th grader  I’ve ever seen. Probably 6’1” with legs like tree trunks, they went all  the way up into his torso. And he was incredible beyond his years.
 No clue how long he had the nickname ‘Biggie’ but it was sure easy
 to see why he had it. And he wasn’t just big. His skills were just
 outstanding and he ALWAYS wanted to make his teammates better  players. That’s the #1 thing I liked about him early on. Very unselfish  and loved to pass the basketball. With the biggest smile on the  planet.

Every time I asked him, he said he was headed to Wichita Sunrise
 Christian Academy to go to high school (he had family in Wichita that  played there). Now today, he is a 2027 TOP 20 player Nationally at Lee’s Summit West High School. That large 5th grade body matured  as a freshman into a potential McDonald’s All American in four years  down the road.

Today he’s pushing 6’8” and probably weighs in at maybe 215
 pounds, which ironically wasn’t too far away from how much he
 weighed as a 5th grader, believe it or not. He’s done a great job with  diet and exercise on his body. He looks fantastic and now today he’s  playing AAU with MoKan. I know that’s helped him immensely. He’s  getting coaching and competition outside of his school season that  has helped him mature into a man.

I saw him last night against Liberty North HS, they aren’t bad now. But  it was 56-20 in favor of the home team, Lee’s Summit West. And  Biggie was typical Biggie. He probably scored 10 points, probably had 10 rebounds, and probably had six assists and three blocked shots. I think he missed two shots. He’s always unselfish with the basketball, he always plays hard, and he always plays with a high basketball IQ.

That’s the foundation his parents and inner circle has established for him. As a future collegiate star, it’s almost hard to say what he needs to work on. Just keep on being Biggie, I suppose. If he still has another 2 to 3 inches of growing, he’d be headed to a National POY type of career. With no growth, at 6’8”, he’s going to be one of the top 20 players in the USA when his career is over with, hopefully staying local here at Lee’s Summit West HS.

His jumpshot with range is very good as a freshman in high school.
 He’s very sneaky adept at scoring around the rim and using the
 backboard in the paint. He’s very good at rebounding in traffic
 without fouling. Defensively, he just knows how to play. You really
 think you’re watching a senior in high school when you walk in the
 gym the first time to watch him. All we can hope for is that four
 years from now, he still has that huge Biggie smile on his face. That
 great willingness to play the game unselfishly. The fundamental

That’s what makes Biggie, Biggie!

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