BUFFALO, NY - (WKBW) The Baron name will be on the Canisius bench and in uniform for the upcoming college basketball season. A source tells Eyewitness Sports Anchor Shawn Stepner that Billy Baron, son of Griffs head coach Jim Baron, has been granted an eligibility waiver from the NCAA which makes him eligible to play for Canisius during the 2012-13 season.
Billy Baron has two years of eligibility remaining. The 6-2 guard played for his father at Rhode Island last season, averaging 13 points in 20 games. He played his freshman season at Virginia, but left the team to join his dad with the Rams.
Jim Baron is entering his first season at Canisius. He replaces Tom Parrotta, who was fired after going 5-25 with the Griffs in 2011-12.
UPDATE: Here is the official release from Canisius:
Canisius College head men’s basketball coach Jim Baron announced today that his youngest son, Billy Baron (East Greenwich, R.I./Rhode Island), has submitted the necessary paperwork to enroll at Canisius and has been accepted into the College, effective immediately. Additionally, Canisius’ waiver to allow Baron’s immediate eligibility for the fall of 2012 has been granted by the NCAA, meaning the 6-foot-2, 195-pound guard will have two years of eligibility remaining, starting in the 2012-13 season.
“I am really excited for Billy on a personal level and we are extremely happy to have him join our program at Canisius,” Jim Baron said.
Baron played in 20 games last season at Rhode Island where he made 14 starts. After sitting out the first semester of the 2011-12 season following a transfer from the University of Virginia, Baron averaged 13.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, while shooting 40.4 percent from the field, 31.2 percent from 3-point range and 82.7 percent from the free-throw line. He scored in double figures 13 times and posted 20 or more points in a game five times for the Rams last season, highlighted by his career-high 25-point effort in the team’s 86-81 road win at Dayton Jan. 28.
Prior to playing one semester at Virginia, Baron averaged 27.5 points, 6.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game during the 2009-10 season at Worcester Academy, where he was named a first-team All-Class A Prep Leagues selection. As a senior at Bishop Hendricken High School, he posted 24.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game and helped the Hawks win three Rhode Island state championships during his scholastic career. A two-time Most Valuable Player of the Rhode Island state basketball tournament, he scored 1,306 career points and averaged 16.5 points per game through his high school career at Hendricken. He was also honored as a two-time first-team all-state honoree in Rhode Island and was a McDonald’s All-American nominee.
Baron joins a Canisius program that boasts the return of four starters and eight letterwinners from the 2011-12 campaign. The 2012-13 season will mark the Golden Griffins’ first year under Jim Baron, who was named the program’s 23rd head coach April 3, 2012 after he spent the previous 11 seasons at the helm of the Rhode Island program.