Friday, June 16, 2017

Fayetteville's Baker Cooks Foes At TOP 100

Joey Baker brought a bundle of high-energy finishes and adeptness around the rim at the NBA Top 100 camp this week.

Known for hellacious hops and fearless slashing, the 6-foot-7 Class of 2019 forward displayed an all-around offensive skill-set.

 Baker's unique blend of know-how, high-motor, and ability to take scoring matters into his own hands earned plaudits from the barrage of former and current NBA players in attendance.

During live action of an otherwise lackluster night game, Baker registered his presence with a deep 3-pointer, a nifty stepback jumper, and a straight-away 3-pointer.
 Bouncy, tactical, and possessing an innate nose for the rim, it wasn’t difficult to see how the Fayetteville, N.C. product has skyrocketed up the high-major charts.
Currently, Baker said, a steady group of programs are expressing love on a consistent, day-to-day basis. He now has a stockpile of offers on the table. Entertaining more of a leadership role and locker room presence at Trinity Christian (N.C.) continues to work away at all components of his game.
“I’m probably hearing from Kansas, Louisville, UCLA, the most so far right there. “UNC is involved. South Carolina is right there.”
This summer, Baker is working to become more of a confrontational defender. Devoting more of his focus to the lockdown role and mirroring his offensive impact on the defensive side is an ideal goal for Baker.
“I’m continuing to develop my upside skill-set,” said Baker, who has drawn plenty of Grayson Allen comparisons early on in his career.
“I’m just expanding with my versatility. Rebounding. Passing. Just being an all-around player to help my team win.”
Baker, who has seen a number of current and former NBA players at the event , said the whole networking and learning aspect of the camp has been beneficial. He understands that all of the professionals here at Top 100 camp—Cody Zeller, Tamar Slay, John Lucas Jr. to name a few—were once in the very same position.
"It’s really a unique experience being here (at the Top 100). You get to soak in a lot of information, meet a lot of people and just have fun. My coaches are (former New York Knick) Lee Nailon and (legendary Virginia guard) Sean Singletary. Being molded by pros is helpful. They’ve been where we are at right now. They’re able to help us, give us tips and all that good stuff so it is helpful.”

Nailon authored a 14-year professional career which included NBA roles with the Knicks, Hawks, Magic, Sixers, and several other organizations. The big lefty was a fan-favorite at Madison Square Garden on the downtrodden, dungeon-dwelling 2002-03 Knicks. Despite shaky substitution patterns from then-coach Don Chaney, Nailon was a high-efficiency scorer who could get hot in a hurry.

Singletary etched his legacy right here at UVA, where the crafty 6-foot guard scored 2,079 points before embarking on a professional career in the NBA and over the waters.

Thus, both of Baker's coaches know a thing or two about high-level basketball.

"They both know so much that you can just learn and apply on the court," Baker said.