The story of the Barnes Academy starts off with a bond, some sacrifice and a lot of motivation.
But the last thing these brothers expected was history.
“We always talked about wanting to have our own baseball facility and wanting to do stuff for all different kind of kids of different ethnicities and different backgrounds and have it to where everyone can enjoy the game that we love.”
It was all a dream, between two brother, their baseball academy plans were in the works when they were just little boys.
“This idea started when me and Devin were like 10. We always talked about having our own baseball facility.. always talked about having our own baseball brand. We always wanted to get together and do our own baseball brand because we knew that baseball is the type of sports that helps kids not only go to college but help them be young men and women and things like that. So, we wanted to use this game to teach life lessons. ”
“It was really just a vision. Me and my brother always wanted to give back. We always wanted to do our own thing and it was funny because we couldn’t come up with a name and I was like it’s our name so lets put academy behind it.”
The Barnes Academy is one of the fastest-growing baseball camps in Alexandria. Just recently opening their doors in October, roughly 150 kids are apart of the program with more coming in by the day. What to expect from the Academy are the basics baseball fundamentals and the fundamentals of life.
“We’re not trying to make it too hard, we’re not trying to confuse kids. We’re just doing the basics. Teaching them how to catch ground balls, how to throw hot to hit. Just trying to teach the game the proper way because only so much are going to go to the next level but a lot of them can use this game to be better young men and that’s what we want.”
“It’s great. I practice here everyday. We have practice here sometimes and it’s just fun.”
While the business is still booming for the Barnes brothers, little did they know they always made history in the state.
“I’m going to tell you, I really didn’t pay any attention to it. I had a guy reach out to me from Houston, Texas and he called me and told me “Man, I did research and ya’ll are the only in the state of Louisiana and that made me feel good in a way. It just makes me feel good.”
Becoming the youngest black-owned baseball academy.
“I never would’ve thought that me and my brother would be in together doing this because this is something that we did want to do but we always talked about doing it in our 50’s and 60’s once we retired from coaching because we always wanted to coach on the collegiate level or higher than that so it feels amazing to be 26 years old doing what we’re supposed to be doing when we’re 60.”
Granted they take pride in this accomplishment, they strive to reach the youth of all walks of life, no matter their background. Their main purpose is to use their love of the game as a way to serve their community.
“I just love the smiles. I love the hugs. I love when they come in and talk about their days, they talk about school and everything like that. I enjoy having kids smile at me and be excited to play. I feel like baseball is a sport where you fail so much its really hard to be productive so to see them having fun and doing this is amazing.”
“We try to teach them, you have to be a student before the athlete. Because if you never get the grades you never go to college and no one can see your ability because you didn’t want to get the work done in the classroom. So, that’s the most important thing that we do try to teach them.”