R.J. Barrett is the No. 1 player in the ESPN 25 for 2019 and led Montverde (Montverde, Fla.) all the way to the DICKS’s Nationals title game this past season. Now he’s one of the most dominant players in the Nike EYBL with every top college coach hot on his trail. Barrett has agreed to give USA TODAY HSS exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a monthly blog.
Hey everyone, this is R.J. Barrett kicking off my USA Today blog just trying to give you guys an insight to what my life is like.
I’m just coming off the Nike EYBL in Atlanta and we ended up going 1-3 so I wasn’t happy about that.
I scored a lot and I had a triple-double so I played well individually, but, ultimately, I’m all about the wins.
I am gonna miss my guys at the next session in LA, because I have to stay back at school for exam week.
The thing I love most about summer ball is being able to play with my friends from back home and being able to compete against the top guys around the world.
I’m definitely a lot more motivated this summer coming off of my high school season at Montverde because we fell a little short of accomplishing our goal of winning DICK’s Nationals.
With Montverde it’s just good to be able to be pushed by the great players and coaches every day. It was cool to go further than anyone thought we’d go this season, but getting all the way to the championship game makes me hungrier than ever.
People ask me all the time about whether I’ll reclass from 2019 to 2018 and it’s definitely a possibility that I’m discussing with my family.
I’ve been really back and forth with it; there are a lot of pros for doing both so it’ll be a tough decision.
Right now, I’m just planning to see where things stand after I finish up school and the summer is over and decide then.
I’m ranked No. 1 overall in the 2019 class and that’s an honor because it’s something I’ve been working for all my life; just to be considered the best.
At the same time, it comes with a big target. Every time I step on the floor, I get everyone’s best game because they want to prove that they’re better or be able to say they shut me down. The good thing about that is that it makes me tougher mentally.
The other side of it is that you get to meet a lot more people and you’re recognized a lot more and that’s pretty cool.
As for my recruitment, I pretty much let my dad handle all of that stuff right now. I just need to focus on basketball and school right now, so he helps me out and lets me do that. I know the college coaches can start calling me on June 15, but until I make a decision on whether I’ll reclass or not I think the coaches will just hit him up. I will start talking to coaches myself and building my own relationship with them soon though.
I like to try and get some downtime during the summer just because I’m at Montverde all year, but, at the same time, I love to travel and I love to play ball.
I feel like I’m on a plane every week anyway!
For those of you that don’t know I’m from Mississauga, which is about 20 minutes outside of Toronto.
This is my second year away from Canada, but the majority of my life, until I was 8, I lived in Europe because my dad was overseas playing ball.
One thing I miss from back home is maple syrup! And, no, it’s not the same as the maple syrup over here. Haha!
We get ours from the trees!
I miss my syrup.
It’s crazy that we’re about to be done with school for the year, but I’m trying to finish out the year strong. I am on the honor roll and I really stepped it up in the classroom, so that’s something I’m proud of.
My favorite subject would have to be Math; I love challenges and figuring out the different ways to solve the problems. I’ve just been studying and getting focused for end of year exams.
The teachers at Montverde are really good about helping break things down and doing everything that they can to help us figure things out. I go see teachers all the time to get extra help when I need it.
I got the chance to go and see the movie Guardians of the Galaxy last week and I thought it was good. I’d recommend that if you haven’t seen it yet. I like action and comedy movies!
OK, everyone, I appreciate you reading my first blog; make sure you check back soon for the second one.
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