The Universal Basketball Union announced last Sunday morning that Barnes had edged out Gunter forward Terrance Fisher and Munich center Stephen Lulling to win the award. The Löwen BC point guard is the first ever player from the team to win the award and the youngest since Anton Frank in 2015.
“He is the definition of a leader,” Löwen coach Max Lehmann said in a statement. “He’s played excellent ball all season, and every match he has shown the massive value he adds to our ball club.”
The 23-year-old Barnes averaged 29.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists on a team that was missing its star guard from the previous season in Alexander Huber (Torn ACL). He led the team to its best record in 4 years and a top 3 standing while also locking in a playoff appearance and leading the union in scoring.
Among being named Most Valuable Player, It was also announced that Barnes has been crowned wache des jahres (guard of the year) and erstes team der All-Liga (All-League first team).
“When I heard the news from the league I couldn’t believe it,” said the newly crowned MVP. “There were plenty of great players I’ve played against this season, so to be voted the best is something that I truly will cherish forever.”
After starting the season playing for Ararat Yerevan in Armenia, Barnes made the decision to leave early and sign a two-year deal with Löwen BC Hamburg. This season Barnes has consistently performed for his team, including a league-leading eight 30+ point games, three 40+ point games, and a career-high 45 point performance to close out the season.
With a year left on his contract (including incentives), Barnes and Löwen look to improve on this season’s success. The all-star guard is reportedly one of the highest-paid players in the league, meaning his team will look to him once again to carry the bulk of the pressure that comes with competing for a championship.