The blossoming SportsU program is no stranger to Hoop Group events, having won the 2012 Pittsburgh Jam Fest, and one of their keys to success has been strong play in the backcourt.
Josh Brown, who is committed to Temple from the Class of 2012, and Hallice Cooke, a quality mid- to high-major point guard, lead the 17U team, but look to the 16U team for the future of the program.
Wade Baldwin from Immaculata (N.J.) has been drawing more interest since his performance in Pittsburgh, drawing offers from Massachusetts, Boston University, and the local Seton Hall.
He has also grabbed the interest of Houston, Louisville, Northwestern, Iona, and Georgia Tech.
“I think I can bring a complete game, doing everything the coach asks me to do,” the 6-3, 185-pound rising junior says. “Rebounding, assisting, scoring, and playing defense.”
In the SportsU program, guard development has been key, and Baldwin says that the success and competitiveness of older players has rubbed off on him.
“Josh Brown plays for St. Anthony’s, so playing with him in practice really helps me,” says Baldwin. “He’s one of the best defensive players in the country, so he digs into me. This organization really helps me because there are top players all over.”
Baldwin is mature and well-spoken and, though he still has two full years of high school left to play, an idea of the college experience he’d like to have is already taking shape.
“I’m just looking for a coach who is a good person and personality that suits me,” he said. “There are coaches that are up higher that are great, but there are also coaches at lower levels that are great too, but don’t get the same notice.”
“I’m grateful for everything I get. It’s a once in a lifetime journey.”
Follow Daniel Martin on Twitter: @DanielJMartin_