Sunrise Christian’s Luke Barnwell – Coach Spotlight – Presented by Hutchinson Community College

By Matt Browning

Luke Barnwell of Sunrise Christian Academy was named the Naismith High School Boys Coach of the Year. Barnwell has been the head coach at Sunrise for six seasons.

The Buffaloes finished the season 21-4 and lost to Montverde Academy in Florida in the Geico National Tournament.

“It is extremely humbling to be named the Naismith Coach of the Year,” Barnwell said. “Basketball has changed my life and is a life passion. I know the roots of the invention of the game was for Dr. James Naismith to disciple young men in between the fall and spring seasons.”

Sunrise has multiple players on its team that are going to be playing at some of the top college basketball programs in the country next year, including Kendall Brown at Baylor, Zach Clemence at Kansas and Kennedy Chandler at Tennessee.

Barnwell said that while there is so much talent on the Buffaloes’ roster, he wants his players to be selfless and focus on others rather than themselves. All of this translates to having quality character.

“Passion is a major thing we want our guys to show and live by,” Barnwell said. “They are extremely gifted and have unique opportunities and we want them to be passionate about the game. Character and work ethic are also important.”

Barnwell, who grew up in Emporia, is a 2008 graduate of Bishop Carroll and played basketball at Newman University under hall of fame coach, Mark Potter.