TORONTO, ON – The 2020 Canadian of the Year Jordan Baker is coming off of 2 impressive seasons with the Edmonton Stingers and a CEBL Championship in the 2020 Summer Series. The UofA graduate is a key piece for the Stingers on both ends of the court and as his stats grow, it’s hard not to put him in the conversation for another Canadian of the Year award.
Baker played 5 years at the University of Alberta, from 2009-2014, and his impressive start only got better as time went on. Baker earned a CIS All-Rookie spot after his first year with the Golden Bears, averaging 13 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists in 20 games played. “Being at a U SPORTS school helps in a lot of ways, you don’t have the same amount of hand holding in a lot of ways”, Baker said of his transition to U SPORTS and the lifestyle, “it really puts the emphasis on the players to have responsibilities, the biggest thing was having the independence and freedom to control your own improvements”.
Baker focused his time at the UofA on building himself to do as much as he could on the court, and his improvements reflect that. Baker wanted to grow himself physically so he could play all around the court and be efficient and effective, and from then on he got closer and closer to the all-around player fans see on the court today.
Over his next 4 years at the University of Alberta, Bakers’ stats improved gradually and he became a star at the University. Not only did Baker evolve his play and become not just a prolific rebounder but also a serious scorer from all around the key and perimeter, Baker racked up the individual achievements including two First Team All-Canadian awards, a Canada West Player of the Year award, being recognized as a Canada West First-Team All-Star and finishing at the top of multiple statistical categories. He would finish his final year at Alberta first all-time in career points, rebounds, assists, steals and minutes, proving his dominance and the special athlete he is.
Over his university career, Baker had a goal in his mind of taking his basketball skills professional, and that vision came true as he graduated and was signed by Orange Academy Ratiopharm in Europe. After his mother coached and his dad played at the University of Alberta where he established himself as a legend in Alberta basketball, Baker did the same, he accomplished things that few ever do, and now he was going to the professional level. Over the next 3 years, Baker would continue his all-around play that Golden Bear fans were used to seeing, and play for 3 different teams overseas, getting great experience and fulfilling his goal of taking his game to the next level.
After his 3rd year playing professionally overseas, the CEBL came calling and Baker was selected by the Edmonton Stingers in their inaugural season. Edmonton finished that season 14-5 and were defeated by the eventual champion Saskatchewan Rattlers in the semi-finals of Championship Weekend. A finalist for CEBL Player of the Year and a 2nd team All-CEBL, Jordan Baker once again dominated on the court but the team knew they could accomplish more.
The following season the CEBL was put into a bubble in St. Catharines Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the experience was both a relief and a help for a team trying to make the push all the way. “The Summer Series was fun in a lot of ways. It gave us an outlet to get back to doing what we love. We were 100% focused on the task at hand because we were in a bubble where we only had basketball, we spent a lot of time putting shots up and focusing on the next game”, stated Baker talking about the experience of playing in a bubble.
That focus and locked in mentality paid off for the Stingers, who went all the way to the CEBL Championship game and came away with the trophy after a dominant season. Alongside Xavier Moon and a group of talented players, Jordan Baker did everything he could for the Stingers day in and day out and they reached the pinnacle of that season, coming home with the Championship, a finalist nod for the CEBL Player of the Year once again and a CEBL Canadian of the Year award.
Now after that successful season, the Stingers look to repeat, and as the 2021 CEBL Regular Season comes to an end, it’s safe to say the Stingers are a favourite to make another run. Baker is averaging a double-double with 14.9 points and 10 rebounds, Xavier Moon is once again in the MVP talks, Marlon Johnson is seriously contributing on both ends of the court and they have tremendous depth with Adika Peter-McNeilly, Matthew Kamba, Kareem South and several others. The Stingers currently sit first in the CEBL with 13 wins and 1 loss and have a bye to the semi-finals of the CEBL Championship Weekend in Edmonton where they will look to punch their ticket to another CEBL championship game and win the trophy at home in-front of their fans.
Baker attacks every game with the mindset of doing anything and everything he has to do for his team to win, and the team is winning. Edmonton has shown all year that they are one of the best if not the best team in the league going into Championship Weekend and Baker is set to push through to achieve the same goal they did in the 2020 CEBL Summer Series. It should be an exciting end to a phenomenal CEBL season and Jordan Baker is someone people will want to pay attention to as he continues to dominate inside the paint, facilitate the offence alongside the guards and shoot from anywhere. He is having another impressive season to go along with the standout basketball career he has put together, and there is no signs of stopping for the 6’8 forward from Edmonton.