Baker makes an impact for the Bobcats on the hardwood

Published 12:43 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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Beulah basketball is on the rise this season, and a lot of that improvement is due to a dominant sophomore point guard. 

Cam Baker is the starting point guard for the Bobcats and is in his second season as a full-time starter. He has quickly turned into one of the best scorers and facilitators on the team. 

Baker is young, but that does not stop him from being one of the most confident players on the court. Baker is one of the most confident scorers and overall point guards in the area, and that all comes from the work he has put in. 

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“It comes from knowing the ability I have and practicing by myself,” Baker said. “It just comes from hard work and knowing what I can do.” 

Baker’s work ethic goes beyond practice. He works outside of the team’s mandatory practice, working on his dribble pull-ups, driving, finishing and shooting on his own. Baker believes that putting in the extra hours will make him that much better than the competition. 

“I like to do a lot by myself,” Baker said. “I know if I work by myself, a lot of people aren’t willing to do that. I know if I can work by myself then I can be better than them. I try to get it in whenever I can.” 

The work on and off the court has led Baker to improve in all facets of the game. Baker is now bigger, and stronger and his mental understanding of the game has improved. 

“He’s much bigger and stronger than he was last year,” Beulah coach Thomas Hill said. “Just adding on that weight and being more physical in the paint. He’s improved with running the offense.”

Baker shifted his focus to increase his workouts after deciding to just be a one-sport athlete. In the past, Baker played basketball and football, but now he is focusing all his attention to the hardwood. 

“This summer I started putting in a lot more work than I ever have,” Baker said. “I didn’t play football, so it was [nonstop] after this summer until we started basketball season.” 

“All he wants to do is get better,” Hill said. “He works on it in the gym, weight room. He’s a sponge. Anything I say, he’s taken it well.” 

Beulah currently sits with a 6-6 record and a 1-1 area record, which is one of the team’s best starts in several years. On Jan. 11 Beulah secured a 63-50 win over Dadeville, this marked the team’s seventh area win since 2000. 

Baker led the team in scoring in the matchup with 21 points. The culture has been shifting in Beulah athletics over the past couple of years, and Hill and the team is starting to see that translate to the basketball court. 

“We’re a lot older,” Baker said. “We work a lot harder, and we’re a lot more focused than we used to be. We’re a lot more determined.” 

The team this season is more tight-knit than the teams of the past. That care and support for each other has translated to wins. 

“These are a bunch of guys, especially the varsity team, they just care about each other,” Hill said. “They hustle, and they fight for each other.” 

Baker has been a huge part of the culture shift on the basketball team because his main focus is on winning. Before his playing days at Beulah are over, Baker should be able to accomplish several statistical goals that high school players covet, but he has other goals in mind. 

“I feel like I could be able to lead our team to the playoffs at least one time throughout these next few years, maybe this year,” Baker said. “I want to get the 1,000-point club, but I’m more focused on winning. I’d rather win and not get to the 1,000-point club than get to the 1,000-point club and lose.”
Baker has his sights set on pushing Beulah to the playoffs. Despite being a sophomore, Baker has taken a leadership role with the team. Baker is in charge of running Beulah’s offense and making sure his teammates are in the right spot.
Baker’s leadership has also transferred to the weight room. Baker pushes his group to get each set done so that the team, and himself, can get stronger each day. 

Baker models his game after players like Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham and Kyrie Irving. Baker wants to adapt his game to become a better ball handler, finisher and shot creator. 

In the future, Baker hopes to catch the eye of prospective colleges with his work ethic and dynamic abilities as a point guard. 

“I want to be able to get an offer soon,” Baker said. “I’m trying to work hard to get it because I know that’s how you get those. You can’t just sit around and expect to get it. I’ve been putting in the work, and I hope it pays off.”