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Baltimore's Barton comes (close to) home

East Baltimore native Will Barton 'ecstatic' to join Washington Wizards, closest NBA team to hometown
Will Barton
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 17:32:45-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For Will Barton, D.C. isn’t quite home. But, he’ll take it.

He is the newest Washington Wizard.

"It feels real good. I’m excited. I’m ecstatic. I just can’t wait to get the season started," he said.

How does it feel to be home?

"I’m not all the way home. But, I’m close so it feels good," he replied.

The East Baltimore native’s drive to his hometown just got a whole lot shorter. Barton was acquired by the Wizards earlier this month in a trade with the Denver Nuggets. WMAR-2 Sports Reporter Shawn Stepner spoke with the 10-year NBA veteran one-on-one on Tuesday as he helped out at a youth basketball camp in Washington.

"Once [the trade] set in I was just so excited and so intrigued by being able to come close to home," he said.

The 31-year-old attended Lake Clifton High School and still has plenty of family and friends in Baltimore.

How many requests for tickets and text messages from home has he received?

"A lot. I don’t even want to think about it, man. It’s so many," he laughed.

Barton has always come home during the summer to run his foundation and his youth basketball program. He’s looking forward to getting back to Baltimore year-round.

"Now me being right down the street, I can be able to do even a little more."

Not only does Barton return home he now reunites with his with another Baltimore native, Wes Unseld Jr., his new head coach and former Nuggets assistant.

"It feels good. We had a lot of success together. We won a lot of games together," said Barton. "We turned Denver around and now I’m looking forward to doing the same thing here in D.C."

His message to Baltimore basketball fans:

"Thrill is back."

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook