By KEVIN HARRIS
More than three months after deciding to continue his basketball career at NCAA Division I Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, Jeffersonville High School graduate Darryl Baker has made a change in his college choice.
Baker announced on the Hoosier Hills Hoops Web site on Wednesday that he will play junior college basketball at Lamar State-Port Arthur (Texas) next season.
This past season’s News and Tribune Area Player of the Year plans on playing at the Texas junior college for at least one year. Baker said how long he stays at Lamar State-Port Arthur will depend on how much he can improve academically.
“Playing junior college will let me work on becoming more of a vocal leader and get stronger [and] quicker,” Baker told Hoosier Hills Hoops. “I just want to become a better basketball player every day.”
When Baker signed with Lamar University, the plan was for him to sit out his freshman year to work on his grades. Former Jeff standout Sherron Wilkerson is a Lamar assistant coach.
The 6-foot-2 guard said he plans to open up his recruiting to Division I schools once he completes his eligibility at Lamar State-Port Arthur.
“I’m opening [my recruiting] back up and will definitely still consider Lamar [University] after junior college,” Baker said. “But I am also open to every school.”
Last season, Baker averaged 23.4 points per game and earned a spot on The Associated Press All-State second team. He set the single-season scoring record at Jeff during the 2012-13 campaign.
He led the Red Devils to championships in the Hoosier Hills Conference, the Class 4A Seymour Sectional and the Class 4A Seymour Regional last season. Baker and the Devils lost in the Class 4A Seymour Semistate to eventual Class 4A state runner-up Indianapolis Cathedral.