Posted On: 02/12/20 4:34 PM
Every year it seems like there are at least a handful of freshmen in the area that make significant impacts for their respective teams. They can be some of the most intriguing prospects given their youth and ability at such a young age. One freshman in Baltimore that has quietly been producing on a consistent basis as been Parkville’s Jayden Baker. Parkville is currently 16-2 with a senior laden rotation, but Baker is one of the few non-seniors that play bulk minutes and in crunch time.
“So far my freshman season has been good. I’ve been hustling and playing defense. The main goals of mine come on playing good defense and getting rebounds,” Baker told Prep Hoops.
Through his first 18 high school games, the 6-foot-4 wing has done a nice job of not only rebounding, but also putting the ball in the basket. He’s currently averaging 9.7 points and six rebounds per game.
When you see an eighth grader dominate in middle school, it doesn’t always mean that dominance will translate to the high school level. Baker went through growing pains in the beginning of the season but has caught on quickly and become a key cog for head coach Josh Czerski.
“I most definitely had to toughen up,” Baker continued, “it’s a lot more physical at the varsity level, but I was kind of used to it because I always would play against my older brother and with Team Thrill we played some bigger teams. The speed was also a shock, but I feel like I’m doing a good job getting used to it.”
Baker has been flying under the radar somewhat when you compare his numbers with other freshmen. But as time goes on, folks will see that he can compete alongside anyone. Throughout the season, he’s grown more confident in his shot. He was consistent from 15 feet to begin the season, but as time has gone on, he’s been and effective threat from deep in big games. Baker is a consistent presence on the glass and alongside 2020 forward Jordan Strickland, can control a game in that aspect.
Parkville will face New Town in a big Baltimore County match up on Friday. Both teams are at the top of the standings and Baker is well aware of what they need to do in order to take care of business.
“We have to bring it on defense and make sure we do the little stuff like rebounding and limiting our turnovers. We have to get every loose ball and out hustle them.”