The 6 foot 7 lefty wing RJ Barrett arguably the biggest prospect to come out of Canada since Andrew Wiggins is the son of former St. John’s standout Rowan Barrett and mom Kesha, a track athlete in college herself. While many people may not know but RJ has a younger brother.
At Lionhead olf & Conference Centre in Brampton, Ontario, R.J. Barrett declared “I have made the decision that next year I will be attending Duke University” announced on TSN’s Sportscentre in Canada.
Barrett chose Duke over his other top three finalists Oregon and Kentucky. Though Duke was always a frontrunner as it was the team he dreamed of playing for as a child.
“It feels a lot like home, and they also have a really good coach,” Barrett said of Duke after committing on TSN. “They are all great coaches. I just felt at home with Duke. I love Coach K, I’ve been watching Duke since I was young. it made it a lot easier.”
Barrett is particularly keen to face North Carolina at the Duke’s home court — Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“My teammate from last year Leaky [Rechon] Black is going to North Carolina next year,” Barrett said through a huge grin. “So we’ve been texting back and forth, it’s going to be a huge battle.”
Josh Weinstein of the Toronto Sun noted Barrett—who reclassified to the 2018 class—is the son of former Canadian national player Rowan Barrett and the godson of Steve Nash. The younger Barrett led Canada to the FIBA U19 World Cup title as the tournament’s most valuable player behind 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game at the FIBU U19 World Cup. Barrett put up a huge performance in the semifinals of the tournament and helped Canada upset the John Calipari-led Team USA 99-87. Barrett scored 38 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out five assists. It was the most points ever against Team USA in the FIBA U19 Men’s Basketball World Championships.
A native of Mississauga, Ontario Barrett transferred to Montverde (Fla.) Academy where he currently attends and plays prep prior to his sophomore season after attending St. Marcellinus Secondary.
He’s a projected top pick in the 2019 NBA draft, and would join Anthony Bennett (2013) and Andrew Wiggins (2014) as the third Canadian selected first overall following in their footsteps.
With all the hype and the pedigree The natural comparison is Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins was the No. 1-overall recruit in 2013 and eventually became the first overall pick in the NBA Draft after just one year of college. Barrett is the No. 1-ranked recruit for the lass of 2018 and is expected to be taken first overall if he enters the draft after his freshman season at Duke. Both are sons of former professional basketball playing fathers and track sprinter mothers raised by West Indian families in suburbs of Toronto. And both have been on the radar of NCAA coaches since they were in their early teens.
It will be truly scary if they both are playing together on the wing for Canada in the 2020 Olympics.
Canada Basketball has become a pipline for not just the top NCAA programs but to have productive NBA careers. Barrett joins a growing list of Canadians who have declared to big schools joining: Cory Joseph – Texas, Tristan Thompson – Texas, Trey Lyles – Kentucky, Jamal Murray – Kentucky, Kelly Olynyk – Gonzaga, Dwight Powell – Stanford, Nik Stauskas – Michigan, Andrew Wiggins – Kansas, Dillon Brooks – Oregon, and Tyler Ennis – Syracuse.
Barrett now joins Cam Reddish and Tre Jones to commit for Duke in the 2018 class.