By Thomas Becker | Oct. 18, 2017
CHARLOTTETOWN - The Island Storm has added depth to its frontcourt, as their search continues for the 12 best men who can lead them to a championship.
Six-foot-eight centre, Julius Barton is the latest signee who’s eyeing a spot on the opening day roster. And with his wiry and athletic frame, he believes he’s a strong fit for head coach Tim Kendrick’s system.
“I think I’ll fit in perfectly because I’m usually a transition-heavy character due to my frame and ability to run.”
For Kendrick, that’s music to his ears.
“We’re really excited about Julius,” Kendrick said. “He runs the floor very well and attacks the rim with ease.”
With his large wingspan and big hands, Barton’s physic may lend well on the defensive end, especially as a rim protector who strikes fear in the eyes of guards looking to attack the paint.
“He has the potential to be a great team defender and shot blocker for us,” Kendrick added.
After four years of college ball with the Kentucky State University Thorobreds, Barton decided to strike a deal with the Storm.
“I was very excited to sign my first pro deal and play the sport I love,” the 23-year-old said.
It wasn’t until his senior year of college where his potential truly flourished. In 2016-17 he averaged 15.1 points per game on a blistering 67 per cent shooting, while pulling down 7.6 rebounds and swatting away 1.4 blocks.
“Every year I felt I’ve gotten better and finally I went out and performed to the level I was capable of.”
Having played lots of power forward at the collegiate level, Barton isn’t a traditional back-to-the-basket centre, but what he does bring is speed and versatility to the position.
“I’m a little smaller than most centres, but I move much better and I’m much faster than the players at my position,” he said. “I also shoot the ball well and it gives me a chance to be successful because I’m usually a mismatch threat.”
Now as he makes his way to Prince Edward Island, the West Memphis, Arkansas native looks to take everything he’s learned and translate it to the NBL of Canada spotlight.
“I learned you have to perfect your weaknesses – the things most people don’t do well – whether it’s shooting from the perimeter or using your left hand,” Barton said. “You have to capitalize on those opportunities so players don’t exploit you because they definitely pay attention to everything you don’t do well.”
And with only weeks away until training camp, Barton said he’s looking forward in joining the Island community and their ball team.
“Prince Edward Island seems like a very homey place and I’m excited to be part of this team.”