Remi Barry remains hopeful, but unsigned

SAN FRANCISCO -- Remi Barry, one of the last remaining unsigned high-major recruits in the country, might have seemed somewhat out of place playing in a July AAU tournament geared toward college coaches evaluating the recruiting classes of 2011 and beyond.

But the 6-foot-7 forward from France is simply happy to have a place to play and stay in shape while he waits to hear back from the NCAA on his eligibility and continues to weigh scholarship offers from Arizona State, St. John's and UCLA.

Barry sat out his entire senior season at Del Oro High in Loomis, Calif., after having his eligibility denied due to transfer rules. Now it's the NCAA that has yet to clear him while it scrutinizes an academic record involving high schools spanning two continents.

"It's killing me," Barry said Friday in between games at the Nor Cal Summer Tip Off.

While incoming freshmen across the nation are settling in on campus and working out with their new teammates, Barry remains with his AAU team -- the YBA Dawgs -- and indecisive on his next destination despite having visited the three schools.

Barry said he has yet to decide in part to avoid a personal letdown should the NCAA not rule in his favor. He especially does not want to disappoint coaches from the programs he's considering.

On UCLA's Ben Howland: "He's a nice guy. He won't lie to you. If he tells you something, it's true."

On St. John's Steve Lavin: "He knows everybody. He's like a big daddy. You can trust him."

On Arizona State's Herb Sendek: "He's friendly. He's like a big brother, like your uncle. I have a good chemistry with him."

"I'm still confused," Barry said, adding that redshirting at a school while clearing up his eligibility remains an option as does playing at a junior college.

The drawn-out recruiting process is the latest chapter in the journey for Barry, who grew up in suburban Paris, where his father works as a taxi driver. His mother is the one pushing him to get an American college degree, and he wants one as well while measuring himself up against NCAA competition.

So Barry went from France to high school in Florida, and when things didn't work out with his living situation there, he came to California and found comfort staying with the family of an AAU teammate. Along the way, he showcased his athleticism on the club circuit, and his recruiting stock soared accordingly.

Barry, who said he calls home at least once a week and also communicates with family over Facebook and instant messenger, appears to have stayed grounded even while coaches and recruiting observers alike continue to wonder about his whereabouts this fall.

"It's better to take your time and make a good choice," he said.