Stars are born at the Kingwood Classic. Every year a player emerges from nowhere and stakes his claim on the national scene. Korvotney Barber, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward from Manchester (Ga.) High School and the Smyrna Stars AAU team was this year’s surprise.
Barber defines small town prospect. His trip to Houston was the first time he ever left Georgia for basketball. He rarely leaves his tiny home town for anything. So when he set foot on the court at the largest AAU tournament in the country, it’s easy to understand why he was a bit apprehensive.
“This was my first big tournament,” Barber said. “I got nervous before we played our first game but after we played the first quarter, I was straight.”
Straight. Sick. A dunk-machine. All of those work. He owned the paint on the offensive end and slammed home everything he could. He made enough noise over the three day tournament to make coaches from all shapes and sizes to follow him like the Pied Piper. They’ve even made their way to Manchester to see more of him.
“This is pretty big,” the reserved Barber said of all of the attention. “There have been a lot of letters and calls this week. Georgia Tech came to the school on Monday. Auburn and Georgia State did, too. Miami were here (Wednesday). So, yeah, it’s been kinda hectic.”
Florida State and Georgia have made serious inquiries and Southern Cal, Furman and Youngstown State have all sent letters even before the Kingwood, Barber said. The one-time quarterback said he has even received letters from the Georgia football coaching staff even though he hasn’t hurled a pigskin in nearly two years.
His future is in basketball, he says. That’s not the kind of news frontcourt players wanted to hear. Just listen to the self description he gave us.
“I’m just a guy that gives his all and plays every game like it’s his last,” Barber said. “I’d like to say I play like Amare Stoudamire.”
Barber and his Smyrna Stars will be back on a national scene when they travel up I-85 to the Tournament of Champions in North Carolina on Memorial Day weekend. The road in his recruitment is just beginning.