By: John Naughton
Ames High School basketball camp players basked in a special light Wednesday.
Boys entering grades 9-12 reflected on news that Ames alum Harrison Barnes — who ran the same court five years ago — helped the Golden State Warriors to an NBA championship Tuesday night.
Barnes’ latest achievement continues to spark the attitude Ames boys have for the game.
“One of the things Harrison left here for younger kids was his work ethic,” Ames coach Vance Downs said. “We have kids staying here shooting after camp is over.”
Barnes, who became the first Iowa high school graduate to earn a championship ring since 1994, led the Little Cyclones to back-to-back state titles in 2009-10.
He shares an NBA legacy at the school with fellow pros Dick Gibbs, Fred Hoiberg and Doug McDermott.
“I think everyone’s extremely proud,” Downs said. “We couldn’t be prouder or happier for a young man like him.”
The last Iowa high school graduate to win an NBA title was Matt Bullard of West Des Moines Valley, who played for the Houston Rockets in 1994.
The only other former Iowa prep to win a title ring was Bob Hansen of West Des Moines Dowling Catholic in 1992. Hansen played for the Chicago Bulls.
Two other Iowans participated in the NBA Finals: Ames’ Gibbs, who played for the 1975 Washington Bullets; and Nick Collison of Iowa Falls, who was a member of the 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder.
Barnes scored 53 points in six Finals games, more than any other Iowa high school graduate to play in an NBA championship series.
In the series Barnes posted a personal-high 14 points in Game 4 and a personal-high 10 rebounds in Game 5, both Golden State wins.