Showing a flair for the dramatic, Ames (Iowa) High School basketball sensation Harrison Barnes announced for the University of North Carolina by placing a Skype call to UNC coach Roy Williams at 3:10 p.m. Friday from Ames (Iowa) High School’s gym.
Rivals.com’s No. 2-rated player, who had laminated signs of his finalists — UNC, Kansas, Duke, Oklahoma, UCLA and Iowa State placed on a table in front of him — phoned Williams, who appeared on a large screen along with members of the Tar Heel team.
There were technical glitches, but the 6-foot-8 Barnes was able to get his point across to Williams and a large crowd that cheered his decision.
“I have loved getting to know the players and coaching staff at North Carolina,” Barnes said. “The UNC program is outstanding. Coach Williams has done a good job of developing his players.”
Barnes said he chose UNC on “Tuesday or Wednesday, (but) it’s never final until you sign your letter of intent.”
He said UNC coach Williams, “found out when everybody else found out, when we did it on the Skype.”
Barnes did not tell the other five coaches of his decision, but did speak to all of them Thursday night.
Of KU, Barnes said: “Coach (Bill) Self has always had my respect for his style of play. His personal approach and demeanor are second to none.”
Barnes’ mom, Shirley, gave her take on the decision: “North Carolina was his pick, and everybody else was second.”
Ben Gouldsmith of the Ames Tribune provided some information for this story.