Canyon Barry embraces his family legacy.
He shoots his free throws underhanded, just like his Hall of Fame father.
And he’s destined to play college basketball for Bobby Cremins, just like his half-brothers Jon and Drew.
Barry, a 6-foot-5 senior guard/forward from Cheyenne Mountain High School, will sign a letter of intent Wednesday to play for College of Charleston and Cremins.
“I’ll probably give coach Cremins some more gray hairs,” Canyon said Monday evening. “I’m definitely excited to play for him.”
Cremins, long famous for his gray hair, coached Jon and Drew at Georgia Tech, and he’s known Rick for decades. His perseverance helped the coach win this recruiting battle over Miami (Rick’s alma mater) and Davidson.
“Bobby saw what happened with two of my boys, saw the way they played and really felt Canyon would be a great player for him,” Rick said. “He really went after him.”
Cremins has won 541 games as he prepares for his 30th college season. He’s known as a master recruiter. Since 1986, 12 former Cremins players have been selected in the first round of the NBA draft.
Cremins twice visited Colorado Springs to watch Canyon play and spend time with Rick.
“Bobby told me, ‘I want Canyon to be happy,’” Rick said. “I know Bobby means that. I know he has my family’s best interests at heart.”
Canyon enjoyed a solid junior season at Cheyenne Mountain. During a five-game stretch, he averaged 20.5 points and showed flashes of his potential. Canyon is a 3-point threat who also enjoys attacking the basket. He’s extremely generous and team-minded, perhaps to a fault.
He’s already decided he will redshirt next season to prepare for the 2013-2014 season. He’s still growing and hopes to bring a 6-foot-7, 190-pound frame to college basketball courts. He’s gained 20 pounds since the beginning of last season.
He realizes he needs to add more bulk and strength. The college game, he said, has become increasingly physical, and he’s in the middle of a long-range plan to be ready to succeed in the lane.
If you’re skeptical about Canyon’s future, you should look at the Barry family’s past.
Rick averaged 24 points in his pro career and carried the Golden State Warriors to the 1975 NBA title. He shot 90 percent from the line.
Lynn, Canyon’s mother, earned academic All-American honors as a forward at William & Mary, where she scored 1,500 points in 82 games.
Three of Canyon’s half-brothers, Jon, Brent and Drew, followed their father to the NBA.
His family’s legacy follows Canyon everywhere, but he’s never been one to flee from his name. He considers expectations a blessing instead of a burden.
“I don’t mind,” he said. “I know that I can be a great player if I set my mind to it. I’m working hard. I’m really looking forward to this high school season.”