Mark another player down as, shall we say, somewhat disillusioned with the European basketball experience … and this one’s coming from the ladies’ side.
Joanna Barnes, currently playing with the PAOK Women’s team, blew off some steam in that favorite 21st-century virtual venting arena, Twitter. Tweeted Barnes this morning:
BallinEurope figures not too much should be made out of one tweet whipped off on a Saturday, but this seems something of a departure from the optimistic, mission-driven picture Barnes painted on her Facebook fan page last November: “Thank you for supporting me and my page. I am continuing to work hard because this is a dream of mine I always had. People doubted that I could make it overseas, people doubted that I would be any good in college, and people did not see me being ‘as good’ in high school. I plan to continue to live life for me and prevail in this game because this is my drive. All those doubters are being proved wrong every day and I don’t do it to prove them wrong, but it sure feels good along the way.”
Barnes has amassed quite an interesting run in basketball thus far and likely will have a career path to follow after she does walk away from the game. After starring for her Washington, D.C. high school team, Barnes attended Fresno State for a year before going on to a leading role with the American University team and compiling honors and accolades.
Post-graduation, Barnes didn’t play the game on any level while studying physical therapy instead. In 2007, she decided to make a comeback, starting by averaging a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds in Estonia. After a year in Switzerland, Barnes was OOB (out of basketball) for 2009-10 but returned in 2010-11 for a turn in Cyprus. Her play there earned her a shot with PAOK for this season.
While Barnes isn’t quite the stat machine she was in other countries (She averaged 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists per game in Switzerland? Whoa), her 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in Greek league play seem respectable. And she’s one of six PAOK players getting 32 minutes or more of court time per game.
BiE for one is hoping things work out for Barnes. As for the money thing, well, it *is* Greece in 2011…