The late English writer Samuel Johnson once said, “Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.”
In the junior college basketball world, Johnson’s words hold true for our next featured interviewed junior college men’s basketball player.
This week’s “On the Brink” selection played his two seasons at the Community College of Beaver County for head coach Steve Brodzinski. He finished this season averaging 10.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 56.1% from the field as a 6’6”, 220pound guard/forward.
That player is sophomore Deon Baker Jr.
Baker currently holds Division I offers from the St. Francis (PA) Red Flash, Youngstown State Penguins, and Grambling State Tigers.
Learn Baker’s story of what basketball means to him, why he plays for God, and a whole lot more!
Why do you play the game of basketball?
It’s a certain feeling I get when I’m on the court and that’s like no other. I love the game. When I’m on the court I feel like I could freestyle and express myself. Whether it be assisting a teammate or windmilling a dunk or just out there having fun.
What is your game-day routine prior to a game?
Drink a gallon of water, Pray and remind myself who I’m playing for.
Who are you playing for?
I am playing for God, my family and friends that’s no longer here with me.
Who got you into playing basketball?
My mom, my dad & my uncles Devon & Doria. My mom and dad supported me from day one and each and every weekend took me to the YMCA in the morning & didn’t pick me back up until the sun went down lol Also I grew up watching my uncles play AAU basketball for teams in different states and travelling every weekend which really motivated me to play.
What is your biggest goal, both on and off the court?
My biggest goal I want to accomplish in basketball is to play professionally. My biggest goal off the court is being a role model for my younger brother & sister.
What lessons do you teach your brother and sister?
You can be whatever you want in life you just gotta work for it.
Who is Deon Baker Jr. as a basketball player, and person?
I’m a humble person yet confident person who has made plenty of sacrifices to get where I want in life. I’ve sacrificed friends who didn’t have the same intentions as me & not having much of a social life.
What’s next for Deon Baker Jr. ?
Whatever God has in store for me.
What was the hardest thing you had overcame on the court?
Tearing my ACL and hearing many people tell me it was over for returning to basketball.
What was the hardest thing you had overcame off the court?
The biggest thing I overcame off the court was doing what people said I couldn’t.
What separates your game from your opponents and other recruits?
My physicality and determination to be successful separates me from others. My physicality is relentless and not being denied from the hoop. Not taking no for an answer.
Who do you look up to in your life?
Dion Waiters, I really like the way he plays as a tough physical guard and he doesn’t forget where he came from. He was humble and came from being 6th man on the bench to a superstar. He’s also from Pennsylvania.
What was it like to play for Community College of Beaver County?
Playing for CCBC was great. We all came into the program at the same time with one goal in mind and that was to grow as individuals & move onto a university.
Meet Deon Baker Jr.
Favorite food? Cajun chicken Pasta
Attended major/degree? Business Communications
First five songs on your iPod or iPhone?
Meek Mill – “Revenge”, Hardo ” Find a way”, Kanye West – Waves, PND – “Come and see me” , Wiz Khalifa – “Hopes & Dreams”
Something people don’t know about you? I’m a really funny guy and I love cars.
Who would play you in a movie? I would play Mike Epps cause he’s epic lol
Dream car? Porsche Panamera
Go to team on 2k? Cleveland Cavaliers
Favorite movie? “Above the Rim”
One person you want to meet? Michael Jordan
Who would you invite to a dinner basketball party? Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Dion Waiters, Tracy McGrady, and Kevin Durant
What others say about Deon Baker Jr.
– “He is a good basketball player but an amazing person to say the least. It is very rare these days to find kids with the same traits and self motivated as Baker.”
– Coach Hurley: Assistant MBB Coach, First Love Christian Academy