He came here to work, which means he came here to play.
What happened in between wasn't on Anthony Barber's radar.
Barber, a Hampton High senior, lost two would-have-been college teammates Monday when news broke that C.J. Leslie and Rodney Purvis — both McDonald's All-Americans like Barber — were leaving the North Carolina State program. Leslie declared for the NBA draft, and the school announced it had granted Purvis permission to transfer.
"It's a business," Barber said matter-of-factly. "So whatever happens, happens. C.J. is probably going to the league. Rodney, I didn't know he was going to transfer. It hurt a little bit because I thought I was going to play with Rodney. But he's my boy.
"I'm still good with my decision. I know you have to deal with it and move forward."
Forward is in the 6-foot-2, 165-pound point guard's plans for the McDonald's game after he sat out Tuesday's practice with an aching back after a collision with another player.
Barber, the Peninsula District's all-time leading scorer, expects to play in Wednesday night's game at the United Center. First, though, he documented some memorable moments from his second trip to Chicago, one that has been about more than business.
"Going to the Ronald McDonald House, seeing the kids, making them feel better and making them cookies," said Barber, who averaged 21 points, six assists and five rebounds per game for Hampton. "They can look up to you."
Face hunched over his cellphone, headphones swallowing his ears as he sat in a conference room at the United Center, Barber also reflected on being here, high school basketball's biggest stage.
He said he didn't expect it, hadn't given it much thought.
"I was just happy I made it," he said.
Then he paused.
"I didn't think about it. I really didn't know they were going to pick me. It's just an honor to be here where Michael Jordan played, and Derrick Rose."
McDonald's All-American Game
When: Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. Where: United Center
Rosters: See Scoreboard on Page 2.
Visit dailypress.com/sports and HRVarsity.com to read a game story from Wednesday night's contest, which will conclude after press time.
The game story also will appear in Friday's print edition.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times