18 September 2018
As the college basketball season approaches, two former UCCS basketball players prepare for life across the Atlantic.
TreShawn Wilford and Jonathan Barnes have both signed professional contracts to play in the National Basketball League in England, the equivalent of the NBA with clubs from England and Wales.
Barnes, who majored in communication while at UCCS, will be playing for the Manchester Magic while Wilford, who was a history major while at UCCS, will be playing for the Derby Trailblazers.
As a transfer student from Wyoming, Barnes played center and forward while averaging 6.8 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game in 29 games. He played 17.2 minutes per game.
The most important lesson that Barnes learned while playing for UCCS was the power of an important community.
“Going to a new school is tough, but when there are amazing people there, it alleviates a lot of struggles that go along with transferring,” Barnes said via email. “My teammates, coaches, fellow students and the faculty welcomed me with open arms and made UCCS home. The community at UCCS is nothing short of amazing. My short time at UCCS was an amazing time of personal growth and I’m so grateful for it.”
Wilford, a point guard, played all four years at UCCS. He was named a starting guard at the beginning of his sophomore year.
In his final season with UCCS, Wilford appeared in 26 games, averaging 12.4 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game and played an average of 27.2 minutes per game.
“The most important lesson I learned from basketball at UCCS was that student athletes can have an impact on their communities,” said Wilford via email. “That being said, athletes should give back as much as possible to set the stage for future generations.”
As the alumni begin their new careers overseas, there will undoubtedly be a period of adjustment for the pair
“I think the biggest difference – which varies at every level – will be the physicality allowed,” said Wilford. “Nevertheless, I am extremely excited to be in the U.K.”
“There are many subtle nuances that make playing here in the States different than over in the U.K.,” said Barnes. “I am not sure what the biggest difference will be. I am looking forward to this adventure though and I am grateful I get the opportunity to play the game I love at the next level.”