AUBURN — Troy Barnies’ boyhood dream has come true.

The Edward Little High School and University of Maine product is a professional basketball player.

Barnies will fly Sunday from the United States to Europe, where he will sign a contract next week to play for a team in Turkey.

“I’m on Cloud Nine. I’m floating right now,” Barnies said.

Details were still being finalized Friday. Barnies doesn’t even know the name of the league or his team.

In a phone call from his agent, Barnies learned that the club is located in the capital city of Istanbul.


“We’ve been negotiating with a couple of teams over there, so I knew the Turkish contract was something that was a possibility,” Barnies said. “I still can’t believe it. I can’t believe what’s happening right now.”

Barnies’ hometown enjoyed a run of college and professional baseball players through the 1980s.

But Barnies is believed to be the first pro basketball player to graduate from EL and only the second pro athlete to represent the school in the last 20 years.

Bryan Lambert briefly pitched in the minor leagues after his days as a multi-sport star in the Twin Cities.

“It’s great news. We’ve been waiting for this for months,” said Mike Adams, Barnies’ coach at EL. “The NBA lockout screwed everything up for a lot of guys. He wasn’t 100 percent sure when this would happen.”

A 6-foot-7 forward, Barnies brings a mix of strength in the post and shooting range to the court. He exhibited each at prior levels of the game.


To cap his career at Edward Little, Barnies led the Red Eddies to an undefeated regular season as a senior. He was named Maine Mr. Basketball, the award presented each year to the outstanding senior basketball player in the state.

At Maine, Barnies was a four-year starter. He averaged 14.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a senior.

Maine’s departure from the America East tournament gave Barnies and his agent an early opportunity to showcase the player’s skills on the free agent market.

Barnies worked out for both the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers prior to the June draft and the ongoing labor dispute.

“I played great,” Barnies said. “That helped me keep getting my name out there.”

Every great life opportunity has its obstacles.


The short notice gave Barnies about 48 hours to say goodbye to his girlfriend, his parents, his twin brother and his friends from Auburn and Orono.

“I’m seeing as many people as I can right now,” Barnies said. “The season runs through April, so I don’t even know when I’ll be back. Possibly not until next summer.”

Barnies also expects some culture shock.

His only previous trip outside the United States was to Montreal.

“My agent told me there is one other American on the team,” Barnies said. “That’s a good thing, because sometimes you’re the only one and it can be a hard time fitting in. I don’t even remember the other guy’s name, but I’m sure I’ll try to become buddies with him. We might be the only two who speak English.”

While the announcement represents the fulfillment of a dream, Barnies hopes there is more to come.

Anyone watching this year’s draft knows the heavy emphasis on players who have come through the European system or have been exposed to it.

“Knock on wood, I hope to continue my run of good health,” said Barnies, who didn’t miss a game his last three years at Maine after breaking his wrist as a freshman. “I’d like to ride this out and make a career out of this until I’m old and my body won’t let me.”

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