Harrison Barnes is the best high school ballplayer in the country. While navigating through the hectic recruiting process such a title entails, the 6-6 wing from Ames, Iowa, agreed to chronicle his thoughts for us during each of his five official visits. After North Carolina, Oklahoma, Kansas and Duke, Barnes recaps his trip to UCLA last weekend. Here are a couple excerpts:
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After practice I had dinner with the assistants and the players, and my mom had dinner with Coach (Ben) Howland and his family. Then I went out with the players and had a chance to enjoy some of the social aspects of the university. Since it was Halloween there were a lot more things going on, especially at some of the frat houses. My hosts were Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt, and they were cool guys.
… I went to see the UCLA women scrimmage, while my mom and sister were taken to see sights around L.A., Beverly Hills and Hollywood. They also got a chance to go to the Santa Monica beach and pick seashells. They really enjoyed that.
When we were done there we went over to Coach Howland’s to watch the game and have dinner. I have to say that he knows his way around the grill. He made a very good steak! Then I got a chance to hang out with the players at Westwood Village. That was cool.
But Monday morning was probably the most special morning because I got a chance to have breakfast with Coach Howland, Coach John Wooden and his daughter. That was an unreal experience! Just sitting in front of Coach Wooden, who in my opinion is the greatest coach in sports history, was awesome. I was just listening to him quote literature and quote other great leaders … it was exciting.
One of his favorite quotes was from Abraham Lincoln: “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool then to speak out and remove all doubt.” That really hit home. Those were like words of wisdom. But it was really fun to be eating with him and see him in his environment. He was still cracking jokes at age 99! It was just a really fun time. I really enjoyed that.
You can read Harrison’s entire diary at HighSchoolHoop.com, where he talks about his upcoming unofficial visit to Iowa State, and making a college decision next week.