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Worcester Academy Alum Baron Thriving At Canisius

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

 

Billy Baron, now at Canisius College, averaged 27.5 points per game for Worcester Academy in 2009-2010. (Credit: Canisius Athletics/Tom Wolf Imaging)

Billy Baron has finally found his footing in the college basketball world, nearly three years after leaving Worcester Academy, where he thrived as a postgraduate.

Now a junior at Canisius College, his third school in as many years, Baron is enjoying his finest collegiate season to date. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound guard leads the Golden Griffins in scoring at 16 points per game and is their top assist man at 5.6 per contest.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he’s leading his team in scoring,” said Worcester Academy athletic director Ed Reilly, who coached the Hilltoppers boys basketball team from 2003-2011. “The thing that I always marvel at is he’s also tacking on a high number of assists. Obviously he’s handling the basketball and distributing the basketball. He’s not just a one-dimensional player. He’s heavily involved in a very high percentage of the points that Canisius team is putting on the board each night.

“As he’s always been, he’s individually driven, but he’s committed to getting that team to a place they haven’t been in quite some time, which is a nice feature.”

The Golden Griffins last reached the NCAA tournament in 1996. First-year coach Jim Baron, Billy’s father, has guided Canisius to a 13-8 record, including a 6-4 mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Billy’s older brother, Jimmy Baron, also spent a year at Worcester Academy and now plays professionally in Russia.

Following a 2009-2010 campaign in which he averaged 27.5 points and 6.2 assists for Worcester Academy, Billy Baron had short stints at the University of Virginia and the University of Rhode Island. URI parted ways with his father last spring after an 11-year tenure.

“It’s one of the most unique college basketball experiences that I’ve ever followed,” Reilly said of Baron’s NCAA journey.

Reilly now tracks Baron’s progress from afar, following him on the Canisius men’s basketball website and through Baron’s Twitter account. The two speak via phone occasionally.

To handle the twists and turns Baron has faced over the past three years, “you need to have a certain amount of resilience,” said Reilly. “You need to have great belief in yourself and your own capabilities. Throughout all the change and all the adjustments, and all the thought that went into all the different moves William has made up to this point, the long and short of it is a desire to be with his dad and help his dad be the best that he can be.

“It’s been challenging, but every step along the way, as it is with the great ones, it’s taught him something. It taught him how to value change, but it also taught him how to keep searching for the position that makes him happy. I think he’s finally found that at Canisius.”

 

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