Here are five things you may not know about newly re-signed Clippers forward Matt Barnes.
1. He is a football player at heart. He was a star wide receiver in high school, totaling 45 touchdowns in two seasons at Del Campo High outside of Sacramento. He was an All-American as a senior and had his No. 21 jersey retired in 2011. He is also a lifelong 49ers fan and has a younger brother, Jason, who plays receiver for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League.
2. Barnes wedded reality television star, Gloria Govan, over the summer in a seaside ceremony in Santa Barbara, Calif. Several of Barnes’ Clippers teammates attended, including groomsman DeAndre Jordan.
3. In 2006, before Barnes made the Golden State Warriors as a training camp invite, he contemplated trying out for an NFL team. “During that summer I hadn’t been signed by anybody and I had been working out for football the whole summer,” Barnes said. “So, my agent talked to NFL teams about having an open tryout if the basketball thing that particular season didn’t work out.”
4. He started the foundation “Athletes vs. Cancer” in 2008 in memory of his mother, Ann, who died of lung cancer on Nov. 27, 2007 when he was a member of the Warriors. The organization has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer awareness screenings, resources and education through charitable events, including this summer’s celebrity flag football game. Barnes and rapper Snoop Dogg co-hosted the event, which included several athletes (Jordan, Blake Griffin and Ryan Hollins among others) and entertainers.
5. Entering the 2013-14 season, Barnes is one of only eight active players to be drafted in the second round and appear in more than 640 career NBA games. He was the No. 45 pick in the 2002 Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies after four seasons with UCLA. He never played for Memphis, though. His first NBA game came in 2003-04 with the Clippers on a 10-day contract.