2009-12-04 / Sports

Excited Barnett Glad to Find New Home: BCHS Regroups

By Elio Velez

Marquis Barnett smiled as he walked off the court after the junior forward helped Cardozo (1-0) win 64- 42 at Beach Channel (0-1) in the first PSAL AA basketball game of the season. The 6-6 forward scored six points and 12 rebounds in his first game with the Judges. "It's been great. The academics is good. The school is good," Barnett said. "I'm focused."

The Far Rockaway resident is glad to be part of a contending program, coached by Ron Naclerio, who has won over 500 game sin his career.

Barnett is feeling a lot more comfortable after going through a tumultuous year with his family.

His mother Francine Baker was involved in an abusive relationship with a former boyfriend in October of 2008.

Baker, who had went through years of abuse, decided to take Barnett and his two younger siblings out of the Bronx apartment they had shared with the boyfriend. They lived in a domestic violence shelter, and then moved a few months ago to an apartment in Far Rockaway.

Barnett though was still taking a grueling two hour plus train ride to the Castle Hill section of Bronx to attend St. Raymond High School.

Practices or games didn't' bring him back home until 10 or 11 p.m. But he got through it and now that he is attending Cardo zo, life is a bit easier.

"It's an hour and 15 minutes to get there," Barnett says as he takes public transportation. "I at least get more sleep. I get up at 6:30 a.m. now.

He knows his role. Barnett must rebound and play defense for Cardozo to win ballgames.

"I have to stay to the gameplan Naclerio draws up. Play hard, rebound and play defense."

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