Q&A with Harrison Barnes

The Sacramento Kings forward discusses his business outlook, internship experience and advice for pursuing one’s dreams in an interview with Kings Director of Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion Kyle Ellington.

KE: Can you explain how Harrison Barnes & Co. started?

HB: We were flooded with various proposals, and opportunities, and needed a vehicle with which to evaluate them. Most importantly, we wanted to ensure each inquiry received a professional hearing and timely response.

KE: What piqued your interest in getting involved with investing in family-owned businesses?

HB: I’ve always wanted to partner with a family business because their stories inspire me. One of my biggest hopes is that the family will invest in me, educating me about their business, and imparting many other valuable lessons. This process of helping an owner transition her business to trusted hands really excites me.

KE: What are the most important qualities you look for when evaluating a business?

HB: Besides the financial aspects, the most important criteria is an able and engaged management team that is excited to stay on as a partner and educator. I’m also focused on businesses that have a good reputation in their community and among their employees.

KE: What are some of your favorite ways to get involved in the community? 

HB: I love to get involved with the community by doing programs that promote literacy and education. When I was growing up I spent a lot of time at the Boys and Girls Club so I try to partner a lot with them to promote reading in the summers.

KE: How would you characterize your experience as an intern at Facebook?

HB: When I first arrived in the Bay Area, one of the goals I had for myself was to try to visit as many tech companies as I could. The opportunity to intern at Facebook was an unbelievable experience. Just to see how they operate and the attention to detail to every single product they have was a learning experience.

KE: How would you describe your involvement in bringing attention to social injustice topics, and how you hope your voice can help make the world a better place?

HB: I’m fortunate enough to play in a league where I can use my platform to speak about social injustices and things that are going on in society and I don’t have to look over my shoulder. As I’ve gotten older and I have experienced more of life, talked with people who are involved on the ground in the communities, and simply just matured, I’ve tried to use my voice and speak for those who can’t.

KE: What has basketball taught you that carries over into the other areas of your life?

HB: The game of basketball has taught me so many different things that carryover outside of the court. The list could go on forever but the biggest areas I’ve learned from the game of basketball are sacrifice, discipline, work ethic, and perseverance.

KE: What advice would you give to people who are pursuing their career dreams?

HB: To anyone who is pursuing their dream, the biggest advice I would give is don’t trust that dream to just anybody. When it is all said and done, you are going to be the one who’s put in the time, the effort, the energy to achieve your dream. No one else can get you there but yourself, but there are a lot of people who can prevent you from it.

KE: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received that could be helpful to someone in any career?

HB: Don’t doubt your process. Ups and downs are inevitable in any career but having a routine that you can go back to will keep you steady when everything around you is chaotic.

KE: Who are some of your favorite authors?

HB: Some of my favorite authors are Baldwin, Coates, and Dr. Carol Anderson.