At one point, Harrison Barnes was the next big thing in the basketball world. Prior to landing in the NBA, Barnes was the consensus top high school basketball player in the country, drawing regular comparisons to players like Kobe Bryant, and even doing enough during his brief career at North Carolina to secure his status as a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Now, Barnes is paying it forward. The video above comes courtesy of The Players’ Tribune where Barnes, who recently signed a max contract with the Dallas Mavericks, takes top 2020 prospect Kyree Walker through a legitimate NBA-level workout. Walker is only a freshman, but he is considered to be the No. 1 prospect in his particular high school class and, much like Barnes, scouts are already salivating about his seemingly endless potential.
For reference, this was Walker in a summer game between his eighth and ninth grade seasons:
Barnes is perhaps best known for his now infamous shortcomings during the 2016 playoff run for the Golden State Warriors, but the 24-year-old forward does bring quite a bit to the table that could rub off on a player like Walker in a positive way. It remains to be seen as to whether the youngster will be able to live up to the expectations that come with being the next big thing in the way that Barnes has not been able to, but this is an admirable move from a player that absolutely knows what Walker is going through.