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Feb 11, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators guard Canyon Barry (24) shoots a under hand free throw against the Texas A&M Aggies during the first half at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Canyon Barry Looking Ahead

After finishing up with his last final on Radiation Detection and submitting a 20 page lab report, nuclear engineering major and former Gator basketball player Canyon Barry is looking at what the future holds after Florida basketball. Barry was a key cog for the Gators as their sixth man, lending an experienced hand and instant offense off the bench during the regular season and in Florida’s NCAA run.   Now, he’s in the process of trying to make an NBA roster.

Showcasing Skills

Barry, appearing on ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF’s Sportscene with Steve Russell, said he recently worked out for NBA teams at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. The tournament invites 64 of the best college basketball seniors in the country. There are 12 games over a span of four days.

Barry said the event was a good one to be in, and that hopefully he showcased some of his skills to the NBA people in attendance.

In Barry’s first game at the Portsmouth Tournament, he had 20 points with 12 rebounds although his team lost 107-99. In his second game Barry scored 13 points and was three of six from 3 point land in a 96-83 loss. In his third and final game of the tournament his team lost 98-83, but Barry put up 9 points and went 5 of 6 in free throw attempts.

Barry also explained he realizes he probably will not get drafted; he wants to make an NBA Summer League team to showcase his skills and go from there, perhaps make an NBA training camp.  He could also have the option of playing overseas.

NCAA Tournament

Feb 11, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators forward Devin Robinson (1), guard Chris Chiozza (11), guard Canyon Barry (24), forward Kevarrius Hayes (13), and guard KeVaughn Allen (5) celebrate against the Texas A&M Aggies during the second half at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Gators won 71-62. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sport

For the College of Charleston graduate transfer making it to the NCAA Tournament was a dream come true. The chance of making it to the NCAA Tournament was one of the reasons he chose to transfer to the University of Florida. Probably the most fun he’s ever had on a court happened after Chris Chiozza drained the buzzer beater in overtime to beat Wisconsin and send the Gators into the Elite Eight.

Success at Florida

When Barry was asked what he thought of Gator coach Mike White as a coach,  he said he appreciated the way White managed the team and that he is truly there for his players on and off the court.

Nov 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Florida Gators guard Canyon Barry (24) takes a under hand free throw in the second half against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Florida Gators won 80-59. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

During Canyon Barry’s time at Florida he was able to put up 399 points the third highest for the Gators. He made 42 three pointers the fourth highest on the team. However, his most impressive statistic is that he made 113 of-128 free throws the best on the team.

Those free-throws made Canyon Barry a household name, not only because he was making them but because of the WAY he was making them…underhanded.  Barry takes after his Hall of Fame dad, Rick Barry, who taught him to shoot underhanded.   Ironically, when Rick Barry was taught, he at first resisted but finally relented…but Canyon Barry said he just listened to his Dad and he knew over time that the shooting form was right for him.

When asked by a caller on why struggling players don’t switch to underhand, Barry said he is not sure why more players who struggle from the stripe don’t try it.  He expressed it could be anything from ego to not thinking they could master the shot. However, Barry does think guys struggling should make the switch and has even offered to teach players.

And recently, Barry put his skills to use as he threw out the first “pitch” at a Gator baseball game.

Hopefully, Canyon Barry will get an NBA shot.   If not, he has that Nuclear Engineering thing to fall back on as well!

About Sarah Carlie Morton

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