WBB: Karley Barnes Article by Marcus Fuller

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http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_29194164/gophers-basketball-barnes-eager-fill-zahui-b-s

Karley Barnes' timing couldn't have been better.

The 6-foot-3 post player from Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College signed with Minnesota the same day All-America center Amanda Zahui B. was selected as the No. 2 pick in the WNBA draft.

"There were big shoes I had to fill, but I was up for it," Barnes said. "That's one of the reasons why I came here."

Upon signing, Barnes took to social media to discuss the difficult task of replacing Zahui B. "I'm preparing myself for it," she tweeted. "Can't wait to please everyone in Minnesota. Can't let you guys down."

What fans didn't know was that Barnes still had to recover from surgery to repair a ruptured knee ligament




Barnes was the No. 3-rated junior-college center last season by All-Star Girls Report and the 10th-best JC prospect, according to the Collegiate Girls Scouting Report. She was looking forward to leading her team in the National Junior College Athletic Association playoffs when she suffered a major knee injury during a game in March.

Barnes was motivated to come back strong because she was playing with her family in mind, mainly her 25-year-old cousin, who died last year. Destinee Blue, a former Milwaukee Vincent and Cleveland State basketball star, died in a motorcycle accident while back home in June 2014.

"I feel like it's bigger than basketball for me now," Barnes said in May. "I have to continue her legacy, make our family proud and let her spirit live with me."

The Gophers kept recruiting Barnes after some other programs backed off after the injury, so she was eager to show the other schools what they missed
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