Russ Turner knew he had a very good participant when he recruited Dawson Baker a few years in the past. The UC Irvine basketball coach believes a two-year Mormon mission previous to becoming a member of this system may need made Baker much more priceless.
“Yeah, he’s obtained emotional toughness and maturity that must be attributed some simply to who he’s,” Turner stated of Baker, who prepped at Capistrano Valley Excessive. “However, additionally, I feel you’ve gotta attribute a few of that to the mission that Mormon children go on as a result of he’s expressed to me how a lot progress he looks like he skilled throughout that mission, and it’s undoubted.”
Baker, a 6-foot-3 true freshman guard, over the primary 9 video games of the season is averaging a team-high 12 factors. He’s taking pictures 56% from the sphere, together with 52.2% (12 for 23) from 3-point vary.
Certainly, the two-year mission to Guam was a giant deal for Baker. It added muscle to an already strong emotional structure.
“As an individual, it’s performed a lot,” stated Baker, 21. “It’s actually arduous to explain. It’s arduous to place into phrases two years of the experiences that I’ve had. They’ve been life-changing for me. There are moments I’ll always remember, there are experiences that may stick with me for the remainder of my life and outline me as an individual.
“Whilst a participant on the court docket, the maturity that it’s given me has been a giant a part of who I’m proper now and the way I’m enjoying.”
Baker was candid in saying he doesn’t consider he’d be enjoying in addition to he’s with out the mission. However the toughness Turner spoke of was way back ingrained in him.
“Yeah, for positive,” Baker stated. “I feel that’s form of been instilled by our father (David), and the tradition of our household is just not being spoiled and never simply taking what’s given, be capable to work for what’s yours.
“It’s a piece ethic that’s been instilled into all of our brothers and I’ve form of discovered it from the older brothers, how they form of labored to change into who they’re in basketball and as an individual.”
Turner has been impressed at how properly Baker has gotten his head again into basketball after his mission.
“When he got here again, I believed that it will take extra possibly acclimation time than it’s taken for Dawson,” Turner stated. “You understand, it’s to his credit score that he stored himself as prepared as he did and was capable of reintegrate himself as a university basketball participant as shortly as he did when he obtained again.”
Two of Dawson’s older brothers – Davis and Dusty – performed school basketball at Southern Utah and Weber State, respectively. Baker credit them for the strong begin to his school profession.
“The most important factor for me was simply entering into form,” stated Baker, who returned from Guam in March, simply because the coronavirus pandemic was gaining steam. “Since all the pieces was form of shut down once I got here again, it was arduous to search out pick-up video games and the timing of the sport was arduous to choose up as a result of you may’t actually simulate that into play.
“I had two brothers forward of me who additionally went on missions and performed school basketball, in order that they have been a giant a part of serving to me (know) what it’s going to be like in school and form of serving to me with how fast I want to choose up issues and the way the pace is and all the pieces that’s going to translate from coming dwelling from a mission to enjoying basketball.”
Coming back from a mission to play school basketball was powerful sufficient. Coming again to COVID-19 offered a unique form of fear.
“Yeah, it’s positively been a problem,” Baker stated. “Not only for me, however for my teammates and coaches and everyone that’s going by this. It’s been bizarre, particularly for me as a result of 2018 was the final time I used to be right here in highschool and (I) form of really feel like life was regular.
“I got here again and it wasn’t the identical world I imagined that I used to be coming again to, in order that’s been form of bizarre and distinctive.”
THIS AND THAT
Lengthy Seaside State senior switch guard Isaiah Washington is main his group with a 16.8 scoring common. He’s additionally averaging a team-high 36.6 minutes. Lengthy Seaside (2-3, 1-1) is scheduled to play Friday and Saturday at Cal State Fullerton (1-2, 0-2). Each video games are slated for a 5 p.m. begin. …
After having its video games at CSUN scheduled for final Friday and Saturday
canceled due to a optimistic COVID-19 take a look at inside the CSUN program, UCI (5-4, 2-0) was scheduled to host UC Davis (2-2, 0-0) this Friday and Saturday at 4 p.m., however a UCI spokesperson on Tuesday stated these video games have been canceled due to a coronavirus-related county order in Yolo County. UC Davis additionally had its first 4 convention video games canceled due to COVID-19. …
CSUN’s program is now on pause. …
Lengthy Seaside State true freshman guard Jadon Jones, who prepped at St. Anthony, had his finest recreation to date final week. Getting the beginning on New 12 months’s Day, he scored 16 factors on 6-for-12 taking pictures, going 4 for 8 from 3-point vary, in a 90-89 time beyond regulation victory over convention newcomer Cal State Bakersfield on the Walter Pyramid. …
ICYMI, the convention match this season shall be performed in a bubble-like atmosphere at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, quite than Honda Middle. The lads’s and girls’s tournaments shall be held there March 9-13. There was no conference tournament nor an NCAA Event in 2020 due to COVID-19.