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Barry biding his time

After unsuccessful battle for eligibility at Del Oro, French transfer could choose college soon
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
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LOOMIS — The winner of the Remi Barry sweepstakes may soon be announced. Barry recently returned from his third and likely final official college visit and could decide where he’ll play basketball next season by the end of the week. The French transfer student graduated from Del Oro High this month after being denied basketball eligibility last winter for what the California Interscholastic Federation deemed an athletically motivated transfer from a private school in Florida. Barry appealed the decision and eventually took the CIF to court, where judges upheld the ruling. He watched from the bench as the Golden Eagles fell to Center in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III quarterfinals. Despite missing his entire senior season, Barry generated impressive recruiting buzz. He whittled a field that once included suitors like Colorado, UC Berkeley and Washington down to his favorite three. Barry spent a weekend at UCLA in late May. He visited Arizona State in mid-June and got back from St. John’s last weekend. “All three were very positive,” said Chris Hendricks, who has housed Barry since he arrived in California last August. “He got to work out with the teams, visit with academic counselors, hang out with the players. He’s thinking this through thoroughly.” Between campus visits, Barry recently wrapped up a stellar spring with the YBA Dawgs, one of the top Amateur Athletic Union teams in the area. He showed no signs of rust despite having not played in a competitive game for more than a year, impressing coach Millard “Doc” Haynes from the moment he stepped on the court for his first game. “His very first play he went baseline and threw it down with a tomahawk dunk,” said Haynes, whose Dawgs finished the spring 19-4. “It was right in sync. He hadn’t missed a beat. A lot of people fail to realize that he’s yet to have a full season under his belt. He’s improving every game. Each time he steps on the floor he does something that wows the coaching staff. “We’ve actually had to stop practice for five minutes and tell everybody to go get some water because he’ll do something that hasn’t been done before, whether it’s dunking on somebody from the dotted line (in the key) or chasing somebody down a la LeBron or making a pass that makes you go, ‘wow.’ He’s made me a better coach.” As Barry and the Dawgs gear up for a summer AAU season that includes showcases in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, new teams continue to pursue the versatile 6-foot-7 star. “Oregon has been calling me over the last couple of days,” the coach said. “They want to get into the Remi sweepstakes, too.” Barry is also awaiting confirmation from the NCAA of his eligibility. Unlike his ordeal at Del Oro, it’s a “when” rather than “if” situation, according to Hendricks. “He went to four high schools on two different continents and they have to evaluate everything,” Hendricks said. “They have to investigate his amateur status and do a complete evaluation of all his coursework. In most cases students are either a foreign student or an American student. He’s both, and that adds to the complexity. It takes time.” Barry, who plans to study business in college, could ultimately lean toward St. John’s. He connected with head coach Steve Lavin. Barry also has relatives in New York and enjoyed previous trips to the Big Apple. “Wherever he decides to go they’re going to be extremely happy with him,” Haynes said. “He hasn’t let on one way or another. He’s keeping it close to his vest. I would love to see him go to St. John’s. Two coaches on that staff were NBA assistant coaches. If Remi is definitely thinking about going to that level, I think St. John’s would be the place to be, but then again, UCLA is UCLA. Anywhere he goes he could be the face of the program.”