To conclude the summer AAU cycle, The Circuit Championship at the Fantastic 40 brought together elite sneaker-affiliated and independent programs under one roof. Taking place at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy in Las Vegas, Pro Insight was on hand to cover the four-day event. In between games, we caught up with Dominick Barlow of Bridgton Academy (ME) and New York Renaissance (NY).
He’s experienced a rapid growth in his recruitment and for very good reason. Barlow is a long and versatile forward who excels as a switchable defender and has the ability to stretch the floor and finish at the basket. Gifted with ideal physical and athletic tools for the hybrid forward role, Barlow is just scratching the surface of his full potential.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Barlow discussed how he got to where he is today, his recruitment update, how his game has grown and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Dominick Barlow, from Dumont, New Jersey:
Pro Insight: Talk about your background.
Dominick Barlow: I’m from Dumont, New Jersey. I live with my mom and grandparents, I’m an only child.
PI: What are your current measurements?
DB: I’m 6’9” and I weigh 208 pounds. I think my wingspan is 7’2”.
PI: Where do you get your size from?
DB: My grandpa, he’s 6’8” — and my mom is 6’1”.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
DB: Yeah I played football all through high school, but I stopped playing my senior year.
PI: What positions did you play?
DB: I played wide receiver and safety when I was younger, but then I stopped because my basketball coach would get mad at me.
PI: Between basketball and football — which sport would you label as your first love?
DB: I would definitely say football is my first love. I love watching basketball, but I watch a lot more football. At a young age, my grandpa would always watch football and baseball, so I kind of was drawn to that a bit more. Playing basketball is a lot more fun for me, though.
PI: How would you describe yourself as a football player? Any player comparisons?
DB: I would say a player comp is like AJ Green — get on the outside and just throw it up to me and I’m going to catch it.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your basketball game, what are your greatest strengths?
DB: I think my biggest strength is my versatility. I can play 3-5 as of right now and hopefully I can develop into a 2 or even a 1 if I put the right work in. I can guard all five positions. My biggest strength is getting to the rim and being able to attack. Crashing the offensive glass if a miss goes up. I can shoot the ball and space the floor. I’ve got to work on my jump shot still, just get it more consistent, but if you need me to hit a shot off the catch, I can hit it. I would say that’s mainly my game.
PI: What are some things you still need to work on?
DB: Just my ball-handling. So I can create a shot for myself more and definitely extend my range because I know that the college three-point line is a little bit deeper, so I have to get ready for that.
PI: What would you say is most underrated about your game?
DB: I think I’m a pretty good passer. I think that part of my game gets overlooked. I’m very unselfish. I like to get guys involved, I mean I’m not Magic Johnson, but I think I’m a pretty good passer.
PI: Talk about your basketball journey — how did you get to where you are today?
DB: So I started at a small high school, Dumont High School. I wasn’t really getting that much recruitment until my junior year, that’s when I got my first D1 offer playing for Jersey Force AAU. It’s an independent circuit, they play the HGSL. I got four offers through that summer. Going into my senior year I met Coach Oz who is the 16U coach for the New York Renaissance. He saw me playing in a park and asked me to come to AAU workouts and that relationship has built ever since. I did really well at the workouts, Andy Borman who is the 17U coach said I was good enough to stay and play with them. I was able to build my recruitment to now, where I have a lot of high major offers and I can basically have more of a choice of where I want to go to college.
PI: How influential was Jersey Force in your on and off-court development?
DB: They’re great at putting guys out there for being an independent team. I mean they don’t have as much resources as EYBL or any of these circuit teams, but they get a lot of guys to college on scholarships to play for free and I think that’s incredible with the resources they have. They have a great coaching staff and they want the best for you. I really appreciate them.
PI: Talk more about your time with the NY Rens — how did they take your game to the next level and help you gain exposure?
DB: Just building confidence. I think that was the biggest thing. Just being able to see that I can play with all of these high major guys that are going to all of these crazy schools. That was really a big thing for me and once I saw that, I could put in my work and my game has grown consistently ever since.
PI: What was your confidence level like prior to playing on the EYBL circuit?
DB: I mean I just wanted the opportunity. Once I got the opportunity it was like “oh this is real and I got to show what I can do.” And showing what I could do was working against high-level guys. It just showed that I could really do something with this and that was a big thing for me.
PI: How has your own outlook as a player changed?
DB: Just like I don’t think there’s going to be a better guy that I’m going to play in high school than Jalen Duren, Dereck Lively II, Emoni Bates, etc. Just knowing I’m playing the best competition, like those are the guys that I’m going to end up playing in college and seeing that I can do that. Like those are probably going to be future pros, so if I can hang with future pros, then I can really do this.
PI: What’s all of the recent attention been like from colleges?
DB: It’s awesome. Just thinking back two years not knowing if I could even play college basketball because I had no offers to this is crazy. I watched a lot of March Madness when I was younger and now my outlook is going to have to change. I’ve got to look at these teams like I might play for one of these instead of just rooting. It’s crazy.
PI: What’s the update with your recruitment?
DB: A lot of schools have been showing a lot of interest. I got four offers the other day from South Carolina, Iona, Syracuse, and Florida. So the list is expanding, it’s great, but it’s going to make the decision a little bit harder. Just having options, I know a lot of kids want to be in my shoes so I just want to make the most of my opportunity and not waste it.
PI: Did you have a dream school growing up?
DB: I would probably say my dream school was Michigan State because I really like Coach Izzo. Just the way that he would get on his guys. His guys would take getting yelled and screamed at. Some of these guys on the bigger scale get babied, but Tom Izzo doesn’t deal with none of that. He’s going to be who he is and if you don’t like it then you can leave. I like that mindset.
PI: Do you respond well to that type of coaching?
DB: Yeah, I feel like when you have that type of coaching, when you’re in another situation, you’re never going to be unsure. Like that’s probably the most intense coaching you’re ever going to get. There’s never going to be a level of intensity of coaching where you’re like, “oh my God, this is crazy” because you had that already.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
DB: Obviously basketball is what’s going to get me to the school, but it’s more than that. Just the community, team culture, coaching staff, relationship with players, etc. I value all of that stuff. If I didn’t have relationships I don’t know where I would be, so I really value relationships and everything.
PI: What type of system best fits your playing style?
DB: I would probably say a system that plays fast. I think when chaos comes on the court I think I thrive because I’m able to calm myself down and just react well in situations I feel like most people wouldn’t be able to react well in.
PI: How do you see your role playing out at the next level?
DB: With next year going prep, I think I’m really going to get a lot of development. I don’t really know what my role is going to be at the next level quite yet. Once I get on the campus I’ll definitely know just by talking to coaches. Different coaches have certain things that they would want me to do. So just evaluating all of that, weighing the options, pros and cons, etc. will be the factor of how I play.
PI: Any players you like to watch and try to emulate?
DB: I like to watch a lot of Cam Reddish of the Atlanta Hawks. That’s my favorite player. I liked him in high school. In high school he was going crazy. Then at Duke, even when there were two guys who had the ball more than him, he was still able to have an impact on the game and have great moments during the season. He never really gave up, never thought it’s time to quit. He stuck with it and I have a lot of respect for him because of that.
PI: What’s your biggest passion outside of basketball?
DB: I like hanging out with my friends a lot. We’ll just drive around and have conversations. When it’s late at night I’ll probably get on the video game. Take a lot of pride in that, never trying to lose to anybody on the video game. I go to the mall sometimes. I try to be a really social kid even though I’m really quiet at first. Once you get to know me I’m really social. I try to be funny. So that’s really it.
PI: How would you rate yourself on 2K?
DB: 99. Always 99.
PI: If you were to pursue something other than basketball for a career, what would it be?
DB: I haven’t really thought too much about that, but I might want to get into business as a major in college. So a job in that, but other than that I have no idea. I’m locked in right now. I have one goal.
PI: What five words would best describe you and why?
DB: “Always fought until the end.” I think that would be five words that would describe me because I never gave up even when there were moments where if I did then nobody would have said anything. I stayed the course, I kept fighting, and I’m in a position now where I get to pursue my dream.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for on and off the court?
DB: Just being a nice person. I want my peers to respect me. I want people to hate me because I’m killing them on the court, but not because I’m a terrible person. I don’t want to be a bad image off the court, either. I just want to continue to be myself and never change.