Harrison Barnes is coming home, and he’s bringing the most coveted prize in all of professional basketball.
The former Ames High School star helped the Golden State Warriors win their first NBA title since 1975, and he’ll serve as grand marshal Saturday for his hometown’s Fourth of July parade.
Barnes plans to show off the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy while joining a caravan down 5th Street. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Main and Clark streets in downtown Ames.
“Man, it’s going to be pretty surreal,” he said. “When I was hooping as a young kid, I always dreamed of playing in the NBA someday.
“And it was always a goal of mine to win a championship, so being able to bring that trophy to Ames, Iowa, is truly special.”
Barnes is the first Iowa high school graduate to earn an NBA championship ring since West Des Moines Valley’s Matt Bullard played for the Houston Rockets in 1994.
The only other in-state prep to reach that pinnacle was West Des Moines Dowling Catholic’s Bob Hansen with 1992 Chicago Bulls.
“Harrison has always been very generous to his hometown with his time and talents,” Ames mayor Ann Campbell said. “So we’re thrilled to have him come here this weekend.”
Barnes and current Chicago Bulls forward Doug McDermott helped Ames win state titles in 2009 and 2010.
After two seasons at North Carolina, Barnes was picked seventh overall by the Warriors during the 2012 NBA Draft.