Wise’s Darron Barnes (4) is a reliable contributor with or without the ball for the Pumas. (Doug Kapustin / For The Washington Post)

Darron Barnes is built to churn out double-doubles. He stands 6-foot-6, 200-plus pounds and dribbles like a guard. He rebounds like a wild animal. He shoots midrange jump shots as if three-pointers didn’t exist.

All together, the senior has three double-doubles of points and rebounds in six of No. 6 Wise‘s games. Teammates compare him to LeBron James or Draymond Green, powerful forwards who facilitate their teams’ offenses.


“I was taught early to not just be the regular big man, all he does is rebound, make layups and block shots,” Barnes said. “I was always taught to be versatile, to dribble the ball, shoot the ball, pass the ball.”

Players Barnes’ size are often sent to the post at a young age by coaches who know they can outmuscle opponents near the rim. But in Barnes’ early AAU days, his coach wanted his big man to get up and down the floor with the rest of the team. What if Barnes didn’t hit a growth spurt, or showed promise as a wing player? He’d need some sort of training as a guard and ballhandler.

In Wise’s offense, if the ball isn’t in star guard Michael Speight‘s hands or in point guard Brandon Howell‘s, Barnes is usually dribbling it. Against Bowie in December, he ran the press break for the Pumas (6-0) late in the game when the Bulldogs denied Speight and Howell.

From the wing, he posted up and flipped in a layup to ice the game. He finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds. His skill set is so diverse, Coach Rob Garner said, he’s going to find a way to fill up the stat sheet.

In his three games this season without a double-double, Barnes has either scored or rebounded in double figures.

Barnes is weighing scholarship offers from a dozen Division I colleges, including James Madison, Maine and Monmouth. He’s also considering a year of prep school, he said, to improve his recruiting stock.


Years coaching for Madison volleyball Coach Carrie Hall, who announced her retirement from the Vienna school on Tuesday. She leaves the Warhawks with a career record of 128-27, and she guided the team to its first Virginia 6A championship in 2015 after Madison fell in the 2014 final.




The Cougars used a balanced attack to erase an 11 point deficit in the second half and beat the Bulldogs. (Video by Brenton for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)


New year, same great high school sports. Check back tonight for a girls’ basketball game story from Howard and Long Reach (follow Josh Needelman for updates) and boys’ hoops in the District between red-hot Wilson and Dunbar (follow Eric Goldwein for updates).