Griffin Barker vividly remembers his first time competing at the 3A state basketball tournament. It was a game-changer.
The Kirkland resident was a junior on the Eastside Catholic squad, which would eventually finish fifth in the tourney at the Tacoma Dome.
“Looking over at the crowd and seeing how many people were there, just getting pumped up about that,” said Barker, who notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in that initial game.
As a senior, the 6-foot-7, 245-pound power forward helped lead his team to a third-place state finish. During his two years on the squad, the Crusaders compiled a total record of 47-11 and he received 3A Metro honorable mention honors both seasons.
Barker — ranked No. 44 on the PrepHoops Washington Class of 2019 list — has committed to play next season at the University of Redlands in California, a Division III school.
“I really like the coaching there, and I felt like that was someplace I could grow as a person and as a basketball player,” said Barker, adding that he enjoys the community as well. In the classroom, he is drawn to the business and accounting realms.
Barker first took up basketball seven years ago and now he can’t get enough of it. He enjoyed watching it and “I decided to give it a shot. I just fell in love with the game, how it brings a camaraderie with your teammates. I love the competitiveness of it, too,” he said.
His time on the court at Eastside Catholic was a learning experience that has led him to pay attention to details and develop a work ethic and a passion for the game.
At Redlands, Barker said he is set on “trying to bring up my intensity to the program and bring that spark.”
The Reporter asked Barker a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The more you think about something becoming reality, the more it will translate into becoming your reality.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Kobe Bryant. I’m a huge fan of him and his philosophy.
What super power would you like to have?
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Just little things, stuff that doesn’t matter.
What’s the last movie you saw in a theater?
“Avengers: Endgame,” that was nice.
What are you most appreciative of in life?
Definitely my family. The experiences that I have with them have really shaped me to be the man I am today. And friends.