Dylan Baker is a senior at Cleveland High School and plays on the Tigers’ basketball team. Baker first started playing basketball when he was around four years old and began his career playing for his dad on a youth travel team.
For Baker, basketball can almost be meditative at times allowing him to focus his mind on a single activity and.
“My favorite part of the game is how peaceful it is,” Baker said. “There is nothing to worry about, just hoop.”
This year has been a transitional year for Baker as he has been working hard to overcome a knee injury sustained last season.
“I had a two inch piece of dead bone in my knee so I had to have surgery last May right after basketball season,” he said. “They put a cadaver bone in which sat me out for about seven months.”
During the recovery process, Baker worked on transforming his body and dropped his weight from around 260 to 205 pounds.
“Losing all my weight made me a lot more diverse as a player,” Baker said. “I went from being a big who could shoot a little to a small forward who can get around people and take it to the hoop while still being able to shoot and post up.”
In his final year, Baker has the ability to reflect upon what he has learned in his four years in high school and what advice he would share with the underclassmen on his team. His advice is to always give maximum effort no matter the circumstance.
“As a senior I would say you are never upset with how much work you put in,” Baker said. “No one has ever looked back and said I wish I would have worked less hard.”
Baker has shown that hard work pays off as he has been able to battle back from injury and make an impact again this year for the Tigers.
“My proudest accomplishment as an athlete is being able to bounce back from my injury and become a better and more diverse player,” he said.
After high school, Baker plans on continuing his education at Oklahoma Baptist University where he plans on majoring in exercise science and would eventually like to become a chiropractor.