First off, I'd like to thank Joel Barkers for taking his time to do this interview with me on behalf of Real Sports Net. He is a great talent and hopefully you can check him out more as the 2010-11 college basketball season rolls around.
Joel Barkers is currently a junior at the University of Hartford. Before transferring to Hartford, Barkers attended Kirkwood Community College for his freshman and sophomore years. In his last season at Kirkwood, he averaged 10.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. His rebounds were 18th best in the country.
In his first season at Hartford, Barkers averaged nine points and five rebounds while playing in roughly 21 minutes per game.
Barkers has a great basketball body as he is a 6'6", 225 pound forward from the Washington D.C. area.
Joel was nice enough to answer 10 questions with me.
Garrett Tucker: At what point did you realize you could play college basketball ?
Joel Barkers: When I was in the eighth grade I was ranked one of the top players in the Washington D.C. area and I knew I could play D-1 (division-1) college basketball.
Tucker: For those that aren't aware of your style of play, who would you consider yourself to in the NBA game? Give us a scouting report on yourself.
Barkers: I'm just like a Boris Diaw type. I'm a 3 or 4 that can handle the ball really well and I have guard skills. Very physical, great rebounder, and great passer.
Tucker: What did you like about Hartford that urged you to sign with them?
Barkers: I had a coach named Rick Brunson that I had a close relationship with and I thought it would be best for my career to attend Hartford.
Tucker: What do you think is the biggest difference between the high school and college game?
Barkers: In college the players are much stronger and the game pace is much faster.
Tucker: Do you plan to try to play in the NBA?
Barkers: My goal is to definitely play in the NBA...I WONT GIVE UP UNTIL I MAKE THE NBA!
Tucker: What is your opinion on underclassmen (especially freshmen) being able to enter the NBA draft?
Barkers: I believe if a player feels he's ready for the NBA, then he should be able to attend it and have a shot at the NBA.
Tucker: Any thoughts on LeBron James and where he may end up next season?
Barkers: I think LeBron will be back with the Cavs.
Tucker: What school first contacted you about playing college basketball? Age/Grade? What was your impression of that team?
Barkers: When I was in the ninth grade the Virginia Cavaliers first contacted me about hoopin' in college. I was sooo excited!
Tucker: What are you goals for the rest of your basketball career?
Barkers: I want to be an NBA All-star [player].
Tucker: Are there any players you communicate with regularly? Teammates, other college players, NBA players, etc?
Barkers: My two best friends, Ty Lawson and Kevin Durant, play in the NBA and I speak to them every day.
On behalf of Real Sports Net and the sports' world as a whole, I wish you good luck for the rest of your college career and your pursuit to the NBA. Fans, make sure to watch for Joel Barkers in a Hartford uniform next season!
Make sure to follow Joel Barkers on Twitter @JoelBarkers2
For more updates on college basketball, as well as interviews and recruiting, make sure to follow Garrett Tucker on Twitter