Photo credit: Christen Rowq

Over the years, many of the reporters at Fifth Quarter have interviewed dozens of high school recruits. This one was much different for not one, but two reasons.

First off, young Hayden Barrier is just 14 years of age. Secondly, we have watched this young lady play since she was in kindergarten or so. This reporter has even been blessed to coach her, in the past. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as Mount Sterling, Kentucky has enjoyed watching Hayden Barrier play and grow.

Hayden Barrier: An Interview

Q1: Let’s Start off with the most obvious question. What are you looking for in a school?

Hayden: I am not set on any one school, right now. I do know exactly what I want, in a school. I am looking to stay in-state or close, a staff that values me as a person — not just a player that makes them money.

Q2: I love that. At 14, you have such a thoughtful and aware perspective. Now, I cannot lie. I am very biased to Kentucky, and hearing in-state does make me hopeful. I understand you have already begun receiving offers. Tell us a little about that.

Hayden: Yeah, I have been offered by both (Eastern Kentucky) and Morehead State. I can say both colleges have super nice people involved with their programs, both are in a good part of town, and each has support from their local community. Also, both have nice facilities, which will be very important if I were to go to either of those schools. Overall, I think I have had a super good experience with each program.

Q3: Your game has really been developing quickly, in the last year. How do you view your strengths and weaknesses?

Hayden: Since last year, I have watched film of when I have played. I see now that I was not really a great defender and that I was “pushing” the ball a lot when shooting. Over the summer, I have been really working on strength training, to help my shot and driving to the basket. I believe that defense is more of a mental thing, so I have been working on that as I play.

Q4: That response speaks volume to something I have long noticed. Your basketball IQ is years ahead of your peers. Do you credit that to film study, to coaches as parents, (laughing) or perhaps your U-10 soccer coach that happens to be doing this interview?

Hayden: (Undoubtedly rolling her eyes at my lame joke, laughs) Definitely a little of all three, but I really think the film study helps a lot.

Q5: Film study is used sparingly at the prep level. Did you start watching film on your own, or did someone turn you on to the value in doing so?

Hayden: My middle school coach, Mr. Curtis, had our team watch from a pretty early age. My parents have encouraged me to watch it even more.

Q6: That is awesome and Coach C definitely gets a shout-out. What is it like to know that your mom (Beth Vice, now Beth Barrier) is the greatest player in Montgomery County’s history?

Hayden: Honestly, it is really cool, but at the same time, it changes how opposing coaches treat me. They are always ready for me when we play, which obviously can be worked around.

Q7: Being game-planned against is only a blessing. It will only push your development forward. Have you and mom played any 1-on-1? Who wins?

Hayden: (Laughing) Yes, we have. She beats me every time, but I am getting there.

Q8: I am sure that when you do finally beat her, it will be a very proud moment for each of you. This summer, you have begun to play AAU for the WV Thunder. Do you care to tell me a bit about that experience?

Hayden: It is a really great program. I feel surrounded by great coaches, great players, and that it is making me better. The support and experience has been great.

Q9: Would it be fair to say the a Kentucky Miss Basketball will come from that team?

Hayden: I am biased, but I do believe I am surrounded by girls with the potential to be a Kentucky Miss Basketball.

Q10: All of your teammates are not just on the Thunder. What do you expect from your freshman high school season and team?

Hayden: I think that we are all working to get stronger and improve. Also, being a year older, I think will make us a lot better this year. We will have a lot higher expectations because we are not in middle school now.

Q11: Very true. Montgomery County probably had the state’s youngest varsity starting five last season. Each year, those expectations will grow. I believe that you all have the ability to live up to those expectations. Favorite player?

Hayden: Kyrie Irving.

Q12: What are you listening to pregame?

Hayden: Probably any type of new rap. That is my favorite.