Division I bound senior Jonathan Barnes only took up basketball as a sophomore -- Steve Nehf/Denver PostTwo years ago, Jonathan Barnes couldn't even make a layup, let alone dunk, and now he's a 6-foot-10, 250-pound beast headed to a Division I men's basketball program.
As a home-schooled freshman in 2010, Barnes stood just 5 feet, 8 inches, according to a fantastic feature by Denver Post prep guru Neil Devlin. By his sophomore year, he sprouted 11 inches and started shooting baskets at a local recreation center. That's where Parker (Colo.) Ponderosa High coach Mike Gibbs discovered his future starting center.
"I was big, but my footwork was atrocious," the 17-year-old Barnes told The Denver Post. "I didn't have confidence. I couldn't even make layups."
Even when he stood under 6 feet, Barnes always wanted to play basketball, but a series of serious illnesses to his family prevented him from taking up the sport in an organized fashion until that sophomore season, according to the feature.
"I wanted for the longest time to play, but my family is a really big extended family and we were going through some rough times," Barnes added. "Three years in a row, when I wanted to compete, my family needed me at home. It would have been too tough."
Barnes averaged 4.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in his first season for the Mustangs, but after another three inches of growth and countless hours in the gym, those numbers improved to 14.9 points and 9.5 boards as a 6-foot-10, 250-pound junior.
Soon enough, colleges came calling, and Barnes ultimately committed to Wyoming.Read More »from Homeschooler grows 14 inches, takes up basketball, earns Division I scholarship