While the Miami Heat’s second consecutive championship and the NBA draft kept the professional basketball world abuzz this summer, former Columbia guard Brian Barbour, CC ’13, nabbed a headline of his own as the Sheffield Sharks of the British Basketball League announced the signing of the recently graduated Lion in June.
Barbour, who had offers to play in Germany as well, heads to England after a stellar collegiate career. He ranks in the top 10 all-time in total points, assists, and steals at Columbia, where he was also a three-time All-Ivy honoree. Most recently, he earned a spot on the All-Ivy Second Team despite struggling with health issues through much of the middle part of the 2012-13 season.
“I’m pumped just to get the opportunity to keep playing basketball and, you know, just having my chance,” Barbour said in June, noting that the franchise is also paying for him to earn a master’s degree. “Getting a chance to go play, and if I want to continue my schooling—in a country that speaks English, which is great—is an unbelievable opportunity for me right out of college.”
Barbour, who said the absence of a language barrier was a significant factor in his decision, also named Sharks coach Atiba Lyons as someone who sold him on signing with Sheffield.
“He did stuff like recruiting me, and making me feel wanted, welcome me to the team, and said I would have a big role next year,” Barbour said.
Barbour arrived in England in August to prepare for the start of the season in late September.