Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley are easily the most recognizable basketball players to come out of the 253 (Area code for Tacoma, Washington and its surrounding cities). Thomas, a well known historian of the Washington Basketball Scene, will always be quick to tell you about a fellow hooper from his town who was great yet never made it. Baree Ward, was one of the most exciting players in the State of Washington in the Early 2000’s. The guard possessed all the tools needed to be elite. Yet, outside of a select few, he’s a relative unknown on the hoops landscape. A sad reality that awaits millions of ball players. Many of us dreamed of achieving all the acclaim that a successful career on the hardwood has to offer. However, the stars only align for a very small minority. Thanks to YouTube, the legend of Baree Ward will never go away.
This 3 minute clip quickly shows you why Ward was one of the most feared prep players in Washington. Fans and rival players alike packed gyms to witness his every shot or move. He played the game with a poise and bravado rarely seen at the prep level. As a fan myself, I can only imagine what could’ve been for his career had he ultimately made it. Seattle/Tacoma players approach the game in similar ways; it wouldn’t be ludicrous to envision Ward experiencing similar levels of success to fellow Washingtonian’s Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas himself. Just look at his moves starting at the 2:17 mark…. YIKES! Sadly there is not enough footage of Ward out there. It’s a well known fact also that he torched a Kentwood State Championship Team led by future NBAer Rodney Stuckey.
In my best Seattle/Tacoma accent, Baree was FILTHY!!