Newman’s Scottie Barnes basks in golden moment with USA Basketball


First there were nerves. Lots of them. And then relief, followed by elation.

Sixteen of the nation’s top 16-year-old boys basketball players, among them Cardinal Newman sophomore Scottie Barnes, were sitting in a room in Colorado Springs, Colo., earlier this month, waiting to hear their names called as members of USA Basketball’s U16 men’s national team.

Twelve would make the cut. The other four finalists would go home.

One-by-one the names were announced. Barnes, a a 6-foot-7 forward rated five stars by ESPN, waited. And waited some more.

Finally, he heard his name.

“I was the 10th pick,” said Barnes, who had spent a week training alongside 33 other Team USA hopefuls. He was named one of 16 finalists June 5. “I was crossing my fingers, hoping I’d make the team. It was one of my best moments.”

More were to come for Barnes, an All-Area second-team selection for the Crusaders last season.

After a few more workouts in Colorado Springs after the final selections, Team USA departed for Formosa, Argentina, site of the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

The competition, which was held June 14-18, featured eight national teams from North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean.

The United States won gold medals in all four editions of the biennial event, which was first held in 2009. Barnes, who was named to the CBS MaxPreps Freshman All-American Team in April, was eager to make it five.

“Wearing the Team USA jersey just makes you want to play harder,” he said. “We were all together for a long time. We all had a close bond.”

That showed on the court.

The Americans were dominant in Argentina, opening with a 110-69 win against Puerto Rico, and closing with a 111-60 rout of previously unbeaten Canada in the championship game June 18.

In between, Team USA defeated the Dominican Republic 94-45, Mexico 127-52, and host Argentina 121-49.

The United States’ margin of victory through five games? Nearly 58 points.

Barnes played a big role in the United States’ success, averaging 9.8 points and 3.2 rebounds, and hitting 91 percent from the free-throw line.

He had a game-high 20 points against Argentina, and finished with a total of 12 steals — second-best on the team.

“Every time I stepped on the court, I played my heart out,” said Barnes, who averaged 14 minutes per game.

The Americans shined despite playing a different game than they were used to at home.

“It’s a lot slower,” Barnes said of international basketball. “They let you bump more. They don’t call certain types of fouls that they call down here. The playing style is different. There’s a lot of rules.”

In the end, it didn’t matter.

Winning a gold medal was a once-in-a-lifetime feeling, Barnes said.

“As soon as the buzzer went off, we went to the middle of the court and started jumping and screaming,” he said. “We had so much joy. It was the biggest game of them all, and going out there and playing really hard and winning by 60 - it was great.”

Barnes, who holds college offers from Florida, Miami and UCF, hopes to get another chance to play for Team USA.

The men’s national team will return to Argentina next year for the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup for Men, and Barnes wants to be there.

“I’ll definitely try out again,” he said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

If the Miami Heat decide to make a play for Kyrie Irving, what would it take to pull off a deal?
If the Miami Heat decide to make a play for Kyrie Irving, what would it take to pull off a deal?

Happier days in the Kyrie Irving, LeBron James relationship, shown here during a game in Miami last March. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Maybe Kyrie Irving was meant to play in Miami. After all, no state supports his “flat earth” theory more than Florida. ESPN’s report Friday that Irving...
Miami Heat Mailbag: A closer look at how Kyrie Irving news impacts Cleveland and the East; What role will Udonis Haslem play?
Miami Heat Mailbag: A closer look at how Kyrie Irving news impacts Cleveland and the East; What role will Udonis Haslem play?

Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers gets a quick breather during a game against the Heat in Miami. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) What off season? In the past 48 hours the Heat have re-signed Udonis Haslem and reports have surfaced that Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland and Miami may be on his list...
Miami Hurricanes football: Chris Herndon’s a weapon, but can other UM TEs contribute?
Miami Hurricanes football: Chris Herndon’s a weapon, but can other UM TEs contribute?

The Hurricanes are back on Greentree on Aug. 1. Let’s go position-by-position and tell you what we know, what we don’t know, and what we want to learn this month.  2017 Miami Hurricanes Camp Preview Series QB | RB | WR | TE...
The buyer's guide to the MLB trade deadline
The buyer's guide to the MLB trade deadline

Baseball's trade deadline is just around the corner, leaving front offices around the league just days to give an honest assessment of their team's chances of making the playoffs and, for some, a championship run. A few teams already have made their choice. The Chicago Cubs acquired left-handed ace Jose Quintana from the Chicago White Sox, mortgaging...
Ole Miss football coach made phone call to number tied to escort service
Ole Miss football coach made phone call to number tied to escort service

University of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze announced his resignation Thursday night after school officials cited personal conduct issues that included a one-minute telephone call to a number associated with a female escort service, USA Today reported. >> Read more trending news The phone call was raised as a potential issue in a legal...
More Stories