With agent signing, Barea looks ahead

With agent signing, Barea looks ahead

Along with a pair of Nike sneakers and his toothbrush, senior guard Jose Juan Barea has made sure to include one other component for this week’s NBA senior workout camp in Portland, Va.

His agent.

Northeastern’s second all-time leading scorer is preparing to enter the NBA draft and has enlisted the services of sports agent Richard Katz. His hiring has been a process that involved family, friends and coaches.

“The process is like when you’re in high school and you’re getting recruited to play basketball in college,” Barea said. “I was recruited by eight agents that contacted coach [Ron Everhart] first then me, my family at home and my coach from high school.”

When looking for an agent, Barea considered personality and promise.

“My agent is a good guy; he’s friends with the coaches I’ve had and we’ve been out to eat and to get breakfast together – we’re forming a personal relationship,” Barea said. “I have to trust him the same way he has to trust me. We have to trust each other. I have to tell him what training I’m doing and he has to tell me who he’s talking to or what he’s doing.”

Barea hired Katz in preparation for the June 28 NBA draft. They form a team: Barea does all the playing and Katz does all the talking to achieve the task of having the guard in a professional uniform in the future.

“The agent is just trying to get in contact with the most people they can,” Barea said. “They try to get you in, no matter what they have to do to get you onto a team. This is through workouts, or to get you prepared for camps and all that stuff.”

Barea went through a similar process a year ago, declaring an intent to “test the waters of the draft” after his junior season, spending time training with the likes of New Orleans Hornets’ point guard Chris Paul in Washington, D.C., it was decided the best place for him would be on Huntington Avenue for his senior season.

“It was very early last year when Jose was looking like a high NBA draft pick that the floodgates opened and a lot of agents were contacting him,” former coach Ron Everhart said.

Katz stood out among the candidates because of his connections and training camp located in Tampa, Fla., where Barea will prepare for the rigorous demands of the draft.

Katz represents former Northeastern coach Ron Everhart. Also included is forward Jason Maxiell of the Detroit Pistons, who was selected in the first round (26th overall) of the 2005 NBA draft.

“The draft will have my agents, other clients, one shooting guard and a big guy for me to play against,” Barea said. “I would be waking up at 8 [a.m.], work out for two hours, eat, do weights and then work out for another two hours. Later in the night, we would play a pickup game.”

Barea must also learn to control public appearance. The life of an NBA star is under the spotlight and he must learn to handle himself in an appropriate manner.

“I’m also going to another camp that will have a day of showing you how to act and what to do,” Barea said. “Four years under Everhart has helped me a lot, but this is going to be different. I’ll learn my way.”

All the while Katz will be making phone calls and forming a rough idea of where Barea stands on the NBA’s radar, a factor that is strongly determined by performances at any of the NBA workout camps.

“I’m probably late second round as of now, but you can move up easily,” Barea said. “You can also fall back really easily, but with a strong performance you can go really high in the draft. You gotta be lucky, all you have to do is have one team love you. That’s why these camps are important.”

Four years of being the face of Northeastern’s basketball program has trained Barea how to handle the spotlight. But the NBA is different; if drafted, Barea would be competing against the best in the world.

The life of a professional athlete is demanding, but Barea is charging forward with the same attitude he’s had while at Northeastern: to have fun.

“I’m not that nervous; you just try to have fun with it – this is going to be my life,” he said. “It’s easy to get nervous with sports, but you gotta go out there and do your best. Whatever happens, happens.”

Leave a Reply