Only a freshman: Darryl Baker making a name for himself

  • 09/01/2009 6:00 am in

dbaker090109If there’s anyone qualified to judge a basketball talent at Jeffersonville High School, former Mr. Basketball, state champion and McDonald’s All-American Sherron Wilkerson would be the man.

Wilkerson, a former IU guard who recently accepted a head coaching job at Herron in Indianapolis, coached Jeff guard Darryl Baker this summer on Team Southern Indiana. He’s been a family friend of Baker since he was born.

“He’s as good right now as I was as a junior in high school,” Wilkerson told Inside the Hall of Baker. “It’s kind of a double-edged sword for the kid because he’s had so much success at an early age that mentally he doesn’t understand just yet what it’s going to take to sustain a high level. He’s so young, so that’s going to come with time. His athletic ability to attack the bucket and his understanding of the game is extremely high.”

The 14-year old Baker attended both of IU’s Elite camps this summer and Wilkerson said he’s fielded calls from Evansville, Purdue, Connecticut and Xavier inquiring about the 6-1 guard.

“Matt (Denison) did a pretty good job in July of getting those guys seen by midwest college coaches and a lot of them like Darryl Baker,” Wilkerson said.

With four years of high school still ahead before he’ll step on a college campus, Wilkerson said the most important part of Baker’s development will be dedicating himself to getting better everyday.

“A lot of people have a tendency to start out at a young age and for whatever the reason may be, they have a tendency of not continuing their development,” he said. “A lot of it just depends on how much he’s willing to commit and how much he’s willing to dedicate himself.”

Wilkerson, the last player to attend IU from Jeff, was dismissed from the team by former coach Bob Knight in 1996 and hopes he can pass along the lessons he learned to the younger generation, including Baker.

“The biggest thing is not on the court, it’s off the court,” Wilkerson said. “That’s the hardest part. In theory, you’re really only spending two to three hours a day on the basketball floor. The rest of the time in your personal life, in the public eye, you become a target. It’s almost a situation where you really almost have to quarantine yourself because you’re going to have your naysayers and you’re obviously going to have people in your corner.”

“There’s a fine line you have to walk to keep yourself grounded and that’s the part I struggled with. Hopefully he’ll take heed to the advice that I’ve been trying to give him and so far he’s done a pretty good job.”

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  • mikejones67

    I watched this kid play a couple of times this summer and he is as strong a finisher as I have seen for a high school kid. I had no idea he was only 14. Wow if he gets to be 6'4 or bigger your talking about Eric Gordon, Lebron James, and Paul Pierce type of strength. He has a very nice shot as well. Hopefully the Hoosiers can lock this kid down before the Dukes, UK, NC, and Michigan States come a calling. Alex do you know the schools that Baker likes?

    What AAU team will he play for next year since Sherron can't coach him any longer?

    Good piece and I'm glad Sherron is giving back and has his life turn around. I always liked the way he played!

  • mikejones67

    I watched this kid play a couple of times this summer and he is as strong a finisher as I have seen for a high school kid. I had no idea he was only 14. Wow if he gets to be 6'4 or bigger your talking about Eric Gordon, Lebron James, and Paul Pierce type of strength. He has a very nice shot as well. Hopefully the Hoosiers can lock this kid down before the Dukes, UK, NC, and Michigan States come a calling. Alex do you know the schools that Baker likes?

    What AAU team will he play for next year since Sherron can't coach him any longer?

    Good piece and I'm glad Sherron is giving back and has his life turn around. I always liked the way he played!

  • Read a note on a message board this morning that claimed Darryl is the brother of Edward Wright-Baker, the freshman IU quarterback from Jeffersonville. That's not true.

  • Read a note on a message board this morning that claimed Darryl is the brother of Edward Wright-Baker, the freshman IU quarterback from Jeffersonville. That's not true.

  • BobbyDigital

    Bummer. I guess I had always assumed that as well.

  • BobbyDigital

    Bummer. I guess I had always assumed that as well.

  • roninJeffersonville

    I figured he was the son of former IU guard Tommy Baker. Is that true?

  • roninJeffersonville

    I figured he was the son of former IU guard Tommy Baker. Is that true?

  • No, he is not Tommy Baker's son.

  • No, he is not Tommy Baker's son.

  • No, he is not Tommy Baker's son.

  • No, he is not Tommy Baker's son.

  • BobbyDigital

    What about Dusty? Is this kid related to anyone?

  • because it's Indiana

    I think we should still recruit him, even though he's an orphaned, only child.

  • bholla

    He's related to his mother…!!!!

  • Lane

    he is the cousin of Edward Wright-Baker

  • Lane

    he is the cousin of Edward Wright-Baker