Harrison Barnes’ legacy extends far beyond basketball as he continues to make an everlasting impact in the Ames community and youth through his Harrison and Brittany Barnes Community Fund. His most recent donation is giving back to the high school that began his basketball career. Harrison and his wife Brittany approached the Ames Community School District about donating funds for upgrades to the competition gymnasium in the new high school. The upgrades include adding student bleachers, adding a video board, upgrading the scoreboard to include player stats, lighting enhancements, and adding floor mounted “NBA” baskets. The school board approved the acceptance of the donation on May 18, 2020.
The fund sponsors the Harrison Barnes Reading Academy, which offers year-round tutoring and a summer reading program for local students. In 2019, the NBA player and Ames native presented the Ames Public Library with a check for $53,000 for the continued support of the program.
He was also a key donor to Miracle League Field and all-inclusive playground, which is currently under construction at Inis Grove Park along Duff Avenue. Talking with the Ames Tribune, Harrison’s mother Shirley said that getting involved with the project was automatic. “We thought it was needed in the community and we were just blessed to have the opportunity to help provide.” Barnes and his wife Brittany donated $300,000 toward the project.
Whether it’s spending time talking with kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Story County during “Christmas in July” or teaching basketball fundamentals to Ames youth at the Harrison Barnes basketball camp, he has always found ways to give back to the Ames community.
Barnes’ commitment to giving back to youth and community is part of his continued mission, whether in Ames or the NBA city where he lives. In 2014, Barnes earned the inaugural Alvin Attles Community Impact Award in recognition of his efforts to make a positive impact on the lives of underserved youth in the Bay Area when he was a member of the Golden State Warriors. He is continually volunteering for charitable events, working with local Boys and Girls Clubs, and finding unique ways to interact with the community. Whether he is fulfilling the dream of a Make-A-Wish youth, taking 100 kids and their families out to eat in Sacramento, or donating $40,000 to provide weekly groceries for vulnerable families and senior citizens during the coronavirus crisis, Barnes continues to find ways to give back and his endless contributions are a reflection of his character.
Thank you, Harrison Barnes, for giving back to your alma mater and being proud of your Little Cyclones Ames High Pride. A special thank you to the Ames Education Foundation for their role in this process. The new Ames High School is currently under construction and is set to open in August 2022.