|No. 9 – New York Knicks|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
|Born||June 14, 2000|
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Listed weight||214 lb (97 kg)|
|NBA draft||2019 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall|
|Selected by the New York Knicks|
|2019–present||New York Knicks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Rowan Alexander "RJ" Barrett Jr. (born June 14, 2000) is a Canadian professional basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A shooting guard and small forward, he was selected third overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks after one year with the Duke Blue Devils program under coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Born in Toronto as the son of former basketball player Rowan Barrett, Barrett shone at St. Marcellinus Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario, before transferring to Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. He was a five-star recruit and the consensus top recruit in the 2018 class, earning Naismith Prep Player of the Year and Gatorade National Player of the Year accolades in his final high school season whilst playing as a shooting guard a majority of the season. He was ranked the top player in his class by all recruiting services and was the first player since LeBron James to sweep all major awards in high school and win the national championship.
With the Canadian national under-19 team, Barrett was named MVP at the 2017 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup after leading his team to a gold medal. He debuted for the senior team during qualification for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Early life and career
Barrett was born in Toronto, Ontario, to Kesha Duhaney and former professional basketball player Rowan Barrett. Early in his childhood, he developed an interest in basketball and played with a mini-hoop in his playroom in France, where his father was playing professional basketball at the time. While living in France, Barrett attended a French school but was taught English by his mother. He lived in a number of countries due to his father's career and shot around after games and practices. Barrett additionally played basketball with players his age through the clubs his father was a part of.
His family settled in Mississauga, Ontario. in 2008, when his father left professional basketball. While growing up, he was also involved in football, 100 metres sprinting, and the high jump. At age 12, after struggling in a basketball game and coming home crying, Barrett began focusing on basketball instead of football to avoid missing tournaments. At that age, he told his father that he wanted to be an NBA All-Star and make the Basketball Hall of Fame. He sometimes trained with Steve Nash, his godfather and father's friend.
Barrett, under the guidance of his father, emerged as one of the best under-12 players in Ontario. He attended Horizon Jeunesse in Clarkson, Mississauga, leading his school team to a city title for Mississauga French elementary schools, where he was named most valuable player (MVP) despite facing older opponents. Barrett also played for the Regional Elite Development Academy (REDA) under-12 program on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) circuit, facing many teams from the United States. When he was 12, he was identified by the Ontario Basketball Association as one of the best players in his age group, and he consequently trained with the Canada Basketball junior academy, through which he competed for the Ontario provincial team. By age 15, Barrett was generally playing the point guard position. On August 3, 2014, he scored 37 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a 93–53 win over Quebec at an under-15 provincial tournament. Through grades seven and eight, Barrett attended École Secondaire Jeunes Sans Frontières, a French language school in Brampton.
High school career
St. Marcellinus (2014–2015)
— Elias Sbiet, analyst for recruiting website North Pole Hoops, on Barrett in 2014.
Barrett began high school at St. Marcellinus Secondary School in Mississauga, whilst competing for the Brampton Warriors AAU team through the REDA. After his 27-point effort for St. Marcellinus against Bill Crothers Secondary School on October 9, 2014, Canadian recruiting website North Pole Hoops labeled him "special" despite only being in his first year. In February 2015, he was named MVP of the Guy Vetrie Memorial tournament after scoring 41 points and a making the game-winner for REDA in a 74–72 win over BTB Academy. In April, Barrett was invited to the Region of Peel Secondary Schools Athletic Association (ROPSSAA) all-star game. At the game, he was recognized as the best prospect in the ROPSSAA. In the same month, Barrett scored a game-high 25 points in the Futures Game at the BioSteel All-Canadian Basketball Game, which featured top grade 9 and 10 players across Canada.
Montverde Academy (2015–2018)
Freshman year (2015–16)
In September 2015, one week after touring top prep schools in the United States, Barrett announced that he would leave St. Marcellinus. Later in the month, he transferred to Montverde Academy, a school in Montverde, Florida, with a decorated basketball program. Barrett made the decision in order to "take his game to another level" but described the transition as "rough". On December 7, he chipped in a team-high 18 points in a nationally televised game versus Huntington Prep School. Barrett erupted for 31 points on December 21, in a loss to Chino Hills High School at the City of Palms Classic quarterfinal. On April 15, 2016, he tallied 22 points and eight rebounds at the 2016 Jordan Brand Classic International Game, earning game MVP honors. At the end of the season, after leading Montverde Academy in scoring, Barrett was named to the MaxPreps Freshman All-American First Team.
Sophomore year (2016–17)
Entering 2016–17, Barrett's sophomore season for Montverde, he was among 20 players named to the USA Today High School Sports All-USA Preseason Team. In November 2016, he was named to the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award watch list. In December, Barrett led Montverde to a City of Palms Classic title, scoring a team-best 15 points in the finals against Memphis East High School, and received tournament MVP honors. He recorded 21 points on January 16, 2017, in a 73–67 win over Bishop Montgomery High School, to help his team win the Spalding Hoophall Classic. In February, Barrett garnered MVP accolades at Basketball Without Borders, a three-day camp during NBA All-Star Weekend. He joined the World Select Team at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit in April, posting nine points and two steals in 20 minutes. Barrett finished the season averaging 22 points and 7 rebounds per game in high school, being tabbed National Sophomore of the Year by MaxPreps and making the Naismith All-American Third Team.
Junior year (2017–18)
On July 31, 2017, Barrett reclassified to the 2018 class because he believed he was "ready to move up and to be in college a year earlier." Entering the 2017–18 season, he was named to the USA Today High School Sports All-USA Preseason Team. In his season opener on November 28, 2017, Barrett led Montverde, ranked the No. 1 team in the nation by MaxPreps, with 29 points in a 97–55 win over The Rock School. On January 11, 2018, in a nationally televised match-up with Orlando Christian Prep, he scored 24 points. Barrett posted 22 points and 10 rebounds on January 15 to defeat Mater Dei High School at the Spalding Hoophall Classic. On March 23, he played in the Signature All-Canadian Showcase, which featured 24 top Canadian prospects. Later in the month, Barrett took part in the 2018 McDonald's All-American Boys Game, where he scored 26 points.
In March 2018, Barrett was awarded the prestigious Morgan Wooten National Player of the Year award for "displaying outstanding character, showing leadership and embodying the values of a student athlete". One of the ways Barrett exhibited these attributes was by being involved in the Basketball Buddies Program of Montverde Academy, where he was in charge of mentoring young basketball athletes with their basketball skills, as well as advising them on how to manage their academics.
In the 2017–18 season, he led the undefeated Montverde team to the Geico National boys’ basketball championship, recording 25 points and 15 rebounds in the championship game.
Barrett scored a game-high 20 points to go along with nine rebounds, six assists and five steals at the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit and was named MVP.
While attending St. Marcellinus Secondary School, Barrett was tabbed as the top Canadian prospect in the 2019 class. Barrett was rated as a five-star recruit and ranked the No.1 overall recruit in the class of 2018.
He received scholarship offers from several major universities including Arizona, Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, and USC, according to ESPN. Speaking to nbadraft.net in April 2017, Roy Rana, who coached Barrett at the 2017 FIBA Under-19 World Cup and at the Nike Hoop Summit, was quoted as saying about Barrett: "A star. A potential superstar down the road."
On August 16, 2017, Barrett narrowed down to five schools: Duke, Arizona, Oregon, Kentucky, and Michigan. On November 10, 2017, he announced that he would be attending Duke for the 2018–2019 season. Commenting on his decision, he said: "It feels like home. And obviously they have a great coach ... I love Coach K. I've been watching Duke since I was really young."
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Mississauga, Ontario||Montverde Academy (FL)||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||Nov 10, 2017|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: N/A Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN: ESPN grade: 96|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Rivals: 1 247Sports: 1 ESPN: 1|
Barrett made his preseason debut for Duke on August 15, 2018 in an 86–67 win over the Canadian Ryerson University Rams, scoring 34 points and collecting five rebounds while shooting 11-of-29 from the field. On November 6, in his first regular season game, he posted 33 points and six assists against second-ranked Kentucky at the Champions Classic, breaking the Duke freshman scoring record in a debut. On December 3, 2018, Barrett was named Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) rookie of the week. Barrett tallied his first double-double on December 5, with 27 points and 15 rebounds versus Hartford. On December 10, 2018, Barrett earned ACC player and freshman of the week honors for the second time. He had another strong performance in his next game against Yale, where he recorded 30 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Barrett eclipsed the 30-point mark again on January 12, 2019, scoring 32 points in an 80–78 win over Florida State. On January 26, 2019, Barrett recorded 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 66–53 victory against Georgia Tech. On January 28, 2019, Barrett earned his third ACC freshman of the week honor. On February 9, Barrett scored 26 points in an 81–71 victory against Virginia. On February 17, Barrett recorded 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 94–78 win over North Carolina State. It was the fourth time in Duke history (second time under Mike Krzyzewski's tenure as head coach) where a player recorded a triple-double for the team. On February 23, 2019, Barrett recorded 30 points and 7 assist in a 75–65 win over Syracuse. On February 25, 2019, Barrett was again named ACC freshman of the week for the fourth consecutive time. On March 5, 2019, Barrett scored 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assist in a 71–70 win over Wake Forest. At the end of Duke's regular season, Barrett was named a member of both the Sporting News' All-American First Team, ACC All-Freshman team and the All-ACC First Team alongside his teammate Zion Williamson.
On March 22, Barrett led the team in both points and rebounds with 26 points and 14 rebounds in an 85–62 win over no. 16 North Dakota State in the NCAA Tournament. He saw action in a total of 38 games (starting all 38) as a freshman, averaging 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists a contest.
New York Knicks (2019–present)
On June 20, 2019, the New York Knicks drafted Barrett with the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. On July 3, Barrett officially signed with the Knicks. On October 23, Barrett made his debut in the NBA, starting in a 111–120 loss to the San Antonio Spurs with 21 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. On December 17, Barrett scored a career-high 27 points with six rebounds, an assist and a steal in a 143–120 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Barrett came down with a sprained ankle in a game against the Phoenix Suns on January 16, 2020. On March 2, Barrett tied his career-high 27 points by hitting a clutch layup before the game ended. He also had five rebounds, five assists and one steal in the 125–123 victory over the Houston Rockets.
Barrett finished his rookie season averaging 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.0 steals in 30.4 minutes. He appeared in 56 games, starting in 55. He was controversially left out of an NBA All-Rookie Team after the premature end of the regular season.
On December 21, 2020, the Knicks announced that they exercised their third-year option on Barrett. On January 21, Barrett scored 28 points, along with five assists and two rebounds, in a 119–104 win over the Golden State Warriors. On March 13, Barrett scored a career-high 32 points, along with five rebounds and three assists, in a 97–119 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
National team career
Barrett was the youngest player on Canada's under-16 national team that won silver at the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, in Argentina. Pouring in 14.6 points a contest, he led his team in scoring during the tournament.
In July 2017, Barrett made headlines with a 38-point, 13-rebound, and five-assist showing as he guided Canada's under-19 squad to a 99–87 semifinal win over the US at the FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup. At the time, Northpolehoops.com described this performance as Barrett's "biggest game of his career so far". He subsequently led Canada to the title, tallying game-highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds in the championship game against Italy, and was named to the tournament's All-Star Five and also the tournament Most Valuable Player. Averaging 21.6 points a game, he was also the leading scorer of the tournament.
In June 2018, he made his debut on Canada's senior men's national team, scoring 16 points in a 97–62 win over China.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Barrett's father Rowan Barrett was born to Jamaican parents and raised in Toronto. He played college basketball for St. John's before embarking on a professional career spent in Europe and South America. Rowan Sr. was a long-time member of the Canadian national team, which he captained at the 2000 Summer Olympics, and later became executive vice president and general manager of Canada Basketball.
Barrett is the godson of Steve Nash, a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee who played with his father on the Canadian national team. Rowan Sr. first met Nash, who is about two years his junior, while playing for the under-19 national team and quickly became close friends with him. When Barrett was a baby, Nash bought him his first crib.
Barrett's mother Kesha Duhaney is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She was a nationally ranked sprinter and long jumper for St. John's University before working for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Barrett's parents first met while attending St. John's. His maternal aunt Dahlia Duhaney was a member of the Jamaica team 4 × 100 m relay that won a gold medal at the 1991 IAAF World Championships. Also on his mother's side, his grandparents ran track for the Jamaica national team, and his uncle played football for the University of Maryland.
Barrett can speak French fluently, although he admitted to being "a little rusty" in 2018. He has a brother Nathan, who is about four years younger than him. After Barrett left high school, Nathan joined the prep basketball team at Montverde Academy.
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