Former Southland Prep basketball player Tim Barnes returns with intent of giving back

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
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Southland Prep graduate Time Barnes, returned to his alma mater to host a basketball camp and give back to kids who were once in his shoes.

RICHTON PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- A Southland College Prep alumnus has returned to his alma mater in an effort to give back to the place that gave him an opportunity.

Tim Barnes, who was once a student at Southland, offered some pointers on how young men can be successful on the court and in life.

"They (Southland College Prep) gave back to me, so I'm going to carry on that tradition and create the bridge and extend my hand back for the next one up," Barnes said.

Since graduating from Southland, Barnes has become a professional basketball player in Germany.

Giving back is Barnes' mission. Barnes purchased new uniforms for the Southland basketball team and established an annual scholarship in his name, awarded to a student who excels in academics and athletics.

But most importantly, he shares his time.

"I don't want to be looked at like a celebrity or a star," Barnes said. "I want to be the guy next door you can talk to and ask questions."

But some students were still starstruck.

"He's a nice person. He does whatever he can to help out," camp attendee Alex Taylor said.

"It's like meeting my idol. He's doing something I've wanted to do," camp attendee Anthony House Jr said.

Barnes was recently named MVP of his league overseas, and for that, he was given a sizable bonus. He wants to donate part of the money to the National alliance on Mental Illness, a cause close to his heart.

"It can be really lonely sometimes being in another country," Barnes said. "Being away from your family so it's hard to get a grasp of your mind you know, it's you and your thoughts."

Barnes's ultimate goal is to play in the NBA. He's had private workouts with the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Indiana Pacers. In the meantime, Barnes says he's happy helping others succeed.

"People will forget all of the things I did, but they won't forget how I made them feel. That's what I focus on," Barnes said.