Bo Barnes knew he was going to play basketball on Wednesday. The former ASU guard was getting ready to go play some pick-up games with some friends.
He ended up at U.S. Airways Center and was deemed the day’s MVP of the the Suns’ pre-draft workouts by General Manager Ryan McDonough. When UC Irvine guard Will Davis went down with an injury early in the workout, the team needed someone to be their sixth man for 3-on-3 drills.
Barnes was their man.
“We called up Bo Barnes, who was a local kid, I think in Scottsdale, and (he) said ‘I’ll be there in 30 minutes’,” McDonough said.
Much like his career at ASU, Barnes came in quietly, but ready to play. Whether it was a 3-point dagger to take down rival Arizona during his senior year or stepping up for the hometown pro team, Barnes was prepped and took in every experience he could.
“It was a lot of fun,” Barnes said. “All these guys are incredible basketball players. Just to be able to come out and compete with them is something I will never forget.”
Barnes participated in various one-on-one and shooting drills with a group that featured Arizona’s Brandon Ashley and Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker. He knows his chances of being picked in this month’s NBA Draft are slim, but that isn’t stopping him from soaking up every experience to make himself a better player.
“I’m hoping to go overseas,” Barnes said. “I’m just working as hard as possible, and hopefully sign with an agent here soon and try to make something happen overseas.”
Barnes’ demeanor and work ethic is something McDonough recognizes and values.
“I told the guys that there is a good lesson to be had there,” McDonough said. “Whether you are at the end of the bench or just sitting at home, always be ready, stay in shape…When he woke up this morning, he probably had no idea the phone was going to ring and say, “Hey can you come over and workout for the Phoenix Suns.”
He wasn’t expecting it, but it didn’t stop him from taking that shot.