Barnes Makes Basketball History

Niko Barnes Hits 1000 Points

Niko+Barnes+poses+with+Mr.+Charles+Ross+and+Mr.+David+Sandaal%2C+with+a+poster+commemorating+a+milestone+in+his+career.

ROBERT BARNES

Niko Barnes poses with Mr. Charles Ross and Mr. David Sandaal, with a poster commemorating a milestone in his career.

DEREK DUDEK '25

What makes a basketball career legendary?  Well, for starters, one must demonstrate the ability to lead their team to success and become a crucial component of their team’s core.  It is essential to maximize one’s potential and put in more effort than everybody else.  Anything short of that jeopardizes an outstanding, illustrious career.  Niko Barnes ‘23 is a quintessential champion.  Between guiding his veteran squad to the postseason and smashing milestone after milestone, Barnes has permanently stamped his historic legacy into both record books and pride of the Eagles.

When I hit my thousandth shot, the feeling was surreal.”

— Niko Barnes

For 52 years, Tom Makenzie ’71 held a prized landmark.  Since then, not one of EHS’ gifted athletes had ever touched the 1,000 point mark, but as the common adage goes, “records are made to be broken”.  Not only did Barnes eclipse the 1,000 milestone, but he became Edison’s all-time leading scorer. 

How, you may ask, does one accomplish such a feat? 

From the legend himself, Barnes revealed that the key to his prosperity can be summed up in two words: Hard. Work.  Coach Mohr echoed his beloved standout with his view on Barnes’ development.

“The kid put in lots of time and hard work, as he improved in all aspects of the game,” Mohr said.  It’s an undeniable truth that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard, but when you have talent that works hard, special things can happen.  Niko Barnes’ dedication to the sport paid off in his top Edison basketball moment.

 “When I hit my thousandth shot, the feeling was surreal,” Barnes said.

For Barnes, basketball is more than just a sport, and in essence, a way of life.  

“Basketball had impacts on academics as well as my social life.  I had to sacrifice a lot of free time, and unfortunately, I’d sometimes fall behind on work.  I was able to balance both, though, and it worked out,” Barnes said.  His career can serve as a model for future athletes, as well as his attitude.  Mohr disclosed that Barnes’ effective style of gameplay was a major factor in his success, with his “tenacity in all facets of the game…Barnes is an aggressive player who loves attacking the basket with passion…an absolutely tremendous competitor”.  

Barnes uses the game of basketball itself as an “escape from the real world”.  Naturally, the star wouldn’t give away all of his secrets, but he divulged in a surprising warm-up routine.

 “I listen to country music before games to get locked in,” Barnes admits.  And like many athletes, he expressed an undying gratitude for his mom.

Barnes’ paramount milestone means a great deal to him and his family

“My mom and brother are also 1000 point scorers, and now I can join the club,” he said.  

In Lady Eagles’ varsity basketball  history, there have reportedly been six 1,000 point scorers, an impressive feat which brings the thousand point club total up to 8, with Barnes as the newest member.

Whatever the future holds for Barnes, evidence shows it’s looking promising.  

“Niko’s incredible work ethic will allow him to succeed wherever he goes,” said Mohr.  Barnes himself plans on “playing D1 in a top school for basketball,” high hopes which have been more than justified as a bonafide All-County star. 

Mohr admits, “Everybody knows how valuable Niko is, which affects the opponents’ game plan and led us to some great wins.”