After a successful senior season at Florida, Canyon Barry is preparing to make the next step in his professional basketball career.
Whether it’s playing in the NBA or overseas remains to be seen, but the 6-foot-6 Barry made a strong first impression earlier this month at the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational. Playing in front of a number of NBA scouts in the seniors-only event, Barry averaged 14 points and 7.3 rebounds in three games.
“It was a really good experience,” Barry said. “Happy with my overall tournament and how things went. I think I was able to show teams what I was capable of doing and got to be with some agents and a bunch of NBA teams, got some NBA workouts. Now it’s just a matter of staying in the gym, getting ready for those workouts.”
Barry said he’s got a handful of NBA workouts lined up in the coming months, but wouldn’t disclose the teams. He’s in the process of hiring an agent and is down to two firms.
“Just trying to do my research and getting to know the guys better,” Barry said. “I think it’s super important decision, probably the most important decision coming out of college. I want to give that process thorough justice, but (I’m) almost there.”
Barry said he’s been able to lean on his family for advice on choosing an agent and getting prepared for the NBA Draft. His father, Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry, played 15 years in the NBA and ABA. Half brothers Jon and Brent Barry also had long NBA careers.
“It’s been nice to be able to pick their brains and what they’ve heard about agents from just their time playing professional basketball and any advice they can give me,” Barry said.
In his senior season at Florida, Barry finished second on the Gators in scoring at 11.4 points per game and earned SEC Sixth Man of the Year honors for his scoring role off the bench. But perhaps Barry’s biggest play on the season came on the defensive end of the floor, when, in UF’s Sweet 16 matchup with Wisconsin, he blocked forward Khalil Iverson’s breakaway layup attempt in the closing seconds of overtime. The Gators rallied back to tie the score at 81 after the block and eventually knocked off the Badgers 84-83 in the Sweet 16 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Chris Chiozza.
Barry is now prepared to show NBA teams during workouts that his game is well-rounded.
“I just want to show that I’m a smart basketball player with a high basketball IQ,” Barry said. “Obviously I’ve shown that I can come off the bench and be successful this year. I think I was able to surprise some people with my athleticism, I tested really well in all my combine numbers. Just knowing that I’m physically ready to play to the next level.”