A summer can do wonders for a high school basketball recruit. Just ask RJ Barney from Woodbridge, Virginia. RJ is just entering his freshman year at Freedom High School, but over the summer this 5'7" point guard went from a solid basketball player to a legitimate college basketball prospect. The summer basketball scene is where basketball recruits can make a name for themselves. RJ attended some high profile camps that caught the attention of several coaches and recruiting publications. HoopScoop has him ranked #8 at his position for the 2015 recruiting class. RJ was such a force this summer that he even got invited to the Pangos All-American Camp this November. A couple famous alumni to come from that camp are Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee Bucks) and DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors). RJ is taking advantage of RecruitLook.com's social media features to showcase his skills on a larger scale. We sat down with RJ to discuss everything about his game.
RL.com: You played in some high profile camps this summer. How did you get selected?
RJB: I had to go to the Adidas Regional camp in North Carolina to attend the Adidas National Camp in California. I did well at the regional camp in North Carolina so I got invited to California. I did not get invited to the Elite 75 camp. I had to pay for the camp. But I went down there and made a name for myself. I got some good feedback from coaches about my play. In November I will be attending the Pangos All-American camp. I'm pretty excited for this. A lot of good players will be there, so it will be a good test to see where my skills are compared to others around the country.
Watch RJ Barney at the Adidas Phenom Camp
RL.com: Those are not your average camps. How would you prepare mentally and physically for that level of competition?
RJB: The week leading up to the camp I would go all out in my training to be fully prepared for the physicality of the events. It’s demanding on your body to play against top level talent days on end. I had to put in extra work to make sure I could keep my game up all week. The mental aspect was a bit challenging too. I like a challenge and never back down, so I would get lost in my music to get 100% focused on the task at hand.
RL.com: It's obvious that you did well at the camps. What would you say are your strengths?
RJB: In basketball my strengths are pushing the ball, court vision, penetrating through traffic, and being able to pull up in transition when my man is sagging off me.
Watch RJ Barney at the Adidas 150 National Phenom Camp
RL.com: What area of your game do you need to improve on?
RJB: I need to get better on shooting off the dribble. As a guard it's very important to shoot off the dribble to create some space. If your man knows that you can pull up on you then he'll either sag off you or play you up tight. It's a chess game out there on the court. If I have more pieces to play with in my attack then the more confused my defender will be.
RL.com: What kind of work are you putting in to improve your game?
RJB: Before the season starts every day I go to the court and bring cones, and just work on shooting off the dribble and simulate game situations.
Watch RJ Barney putting in work
RL.com: You are a young player starting to make a name in the recruiting circles. What goals do you have for your freshman season?
RJB: I want to get as much varsity experience as possible and to be able to contribute to a winning program. If playing JV, I want to dominate and be a leader for my team.
RL.com: What worries you the most about the college recruiting process?
RJB: When someone might be doing something illegal. You hear about all the schools getting in trouble, and I don't want to do anything that could cause me my college eligibility.
Don't jeopardize your college eligiblity. Read tips and insights from the RecruitLook staff about all the college recruiting rules.
RL.com: How did you do in school last year?
RJB: My last report card had nothing but A's and B's.
By: RecruitLook Staff
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