ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While there are plenty of Lobo basketball players set to begin their first season at the University of New Mexico, one newcomer, in particular, is on campus and ready to begin his 7th season of college basketball.
“Yeah, my journey, it’s been unique,” said Jemarl Baker. “Even though it’s been unfortunate at times, I wouldn’t go back, I wouldn’t change anything, it’s been great.”
First-year guard Jemarl Baker Jr. comes to UNM in his final year of eligibility after spending time with some of the premier programs in the county. Baker began his collegiate career at Kentucky and was a member of the Wildcats’ 2019 Elite 8 run, but injuries forced him to move around the country after his second year. Following his departure from Lexington, Baker transferred to Arizona, where he spent two years, and then he spent two years at Fresno State.
While his on-court resume is impressive, injuries have derailed his career in a way that forced constant chance. During his six previous seasons of college ball, he was only in full health for the offseason. There has been a lack of consistency, but never a lack of motivation.
“Even though the injuries and stuff like that, I just continued to fight, because it would have been easy for me to quit and stop playing after, I mean I am going into my 7th year, I could have stopped at year five or year four.”
Baker, a 6-5 guard, brings size to the perimeter and looks to be the third guard in coach Pitino’s offense. While it’s still early in the process, his leadership skills are already on display.
“I have been playing basketball for a long time, I have had different roles for a long time on different teams, and no matter where they put me, I will be able to make an impact.”