AMES, Iowa -- Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors brought the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy back to Ames on Saturday.
Barnes, a starter for Golden State, brought the trophy home as he served as grand marshal for Ames' 4th of July parade.
"The people in Ames, the people in Iowa, they’ve supported me since day one,” Barnes said Saturday. “Back to when we were getting bounced out of Sub-State, to winning state championships, to going to college and then the NBA, it’s nice to finally hit the highest point in your sport and be able to come back to your hometown and celebrate it.”
The Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to capture the NBA title on June 16 after trailing 2-1 in the series. It was the third championship in the organization’s history and its first since 1975.
"It was nuts, obviously to win in Game 6 and to be able to celebrate with friends and family, and then go back to the Bay (Area) and have a good championship parade, to have the rally at Lake Merrit, it’s been a whirlwind," Barnes said. "It’s something you work hard for and you always dream of winning a championship and its something you’ve always wanted to do. To finally see it through, it’s much better than I ever thought."
The former Ames High School star averaged 32.4 minutes, 10.6 points, and 5.2 rebounds per game throughout the playoffs. His versatility on the offensive and defensive end of the court were key to the Warriors' title run.
Barnes became just the third former Central Iowa Metropolitan League player to win the NBA title. He joined former Dowling Catholic star Bobby Hansen, who won the championship with the Chicago Bulls in 1991-92, and former Valley High School star Matt Bullard, who won it all with the Houston Rockets in 1993-94.
Barnes was also given a key to the City of Ames for his outstanding accomplishments.