Alberta’s Jordan Baker: Jack of All Trades
EDMONTON, AB–As the son of parents who are both former MVP basketball players for the University of Alberta Golden Bears, it’s only fitting that Jordan Baker would carry on the family legacy.
A former member of Canada’s U-15, U-17 and U-19 national teams, Baker has been a key contributor for the Golden Bears since day one. He was named Canada West Rookie of the Year and selected to CIS All-Rookie Team during the 2009-2010 season, during which the Bears went 10-10. This past season, Baker’s inspired play helped spark the Bears to a much improved 15-8 record, as he went off for 17.8 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, while shooting an impressive 54% from the field. He also finished second on the team in playoff scoring with 18 points per game, while leading team with 9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2 steals per contest. For his efforts, he was named to the Canada West First All-Star Team.
A power forward during his high school career, Baker’s skill and natural athleticism led him to make the transition from the paint to the perimeter in the CIS. Rather than neglect his experience as a big man, however, Baker found a way to blend the two styles together, making him one of the most versatile players in the country.
“I believe I have an advantage based on the fact that I have experience playing the positions 1 through 4,” Baker tells NPH.
“A size advantage against guards allows me to attack the offensive glass as well as to finish in the paint, while a speed advantage against forwards allows me to use penetration from the perimeter and also capitalize on the fast break.”
One of the main factor’s for Baker’s successful ability to blend all aspects of his game was his time spent with Canada’s national program.
“It showed me the skill set and the mental toughness needed to play at a high level,” Baker explains. “Every mistake is magnified when you’re competing against the best, so it forces you to develop all aspects of your game.”
With the 2011-2012 season just around the corner, Baker has his sights set on helping the University of Alberta continue its rise into the upper-echelon of CIS programs. And, with their other star player Daniel Ferguson on board for one more season, the Bears certainly expect to make some noise.
“I think the 2011-2012 season will be the coming out party for the Golden Bears,” says Baker. Our defense is going to be one of the toughest in the league, and we are also focused on becoming more efficient offensively. And with a scorer like Daniel Ferguson and a strong supporting cast, we all expect to go to the Final 8.
“As for myself, I will no longer accept failure because of youth and inexperience. I will do anything it takes to win games – simple as that.”
It’s difficult to think that Jordan Baker, the jack-of-all-trades, won’t find a way to make this happen. In the mean time though, he can take comfort in the fact that he’s not only solidified the Baker family name in Alberta basketball circles, but taken it to the national level, too.