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Kamal Baker was first introduced to lacrosse in gym class in seventh grade.
Prior to that, the now senior at Hopkins High School (MN), had been focused on football. But he was looking for a second sport. Soon, he became hooked on lacrosse, and now, it’s the sport he will play at the next level.
The Class of 2016 midfielder verbally committed last week to UMBC, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section,
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Baker (pictured at left), a righty who plays travel for Team Minnesota, is a quick and elusive player with a strong and accurate outside shot. He is quick off the dodge and can outrun defenders down the alley. He’s also a strong defensive player.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Kamal on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision:
(UMBC Assistant) Coach (Steve) Settembrino and I first made contact at the Twin Cities Showcase. He coached my team and I really liked his coaching style.
When I went on my unofficial visit, (UMBC Head) Coach (Don) Zimmerman and the rest of the team really made it feel like home. I told Coach Zimmerman my intentions academically and he really made those intentions a high priority.
At the end of the day, I could not find a reason to not be a part of the UMBC community.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I had made some calls to High Point and Mercer and attended an Albany prospect camp where I spoke to some of the coaches who showed some interest. However UMBC was the only unofficial visit I made.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Offensively, I am quick off the dodge, I dodge with my head up, and can outrun defenders down an alley. Defensively, I am great at on ball one-on-one defense, and communication off ball. I would describe my playing style as a reliable two-way midfielder.
What areas of your game do you need to work on?
I need to work on confidence when dodging to my left hand, and cutting more effectively off ball.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I was introduced in seventh grade via gym class. I had played football as a running back and quarter back up until that point. I wanted to have a secondary sport to play during the football offseason. Once I tried lacrosse in gym I was hooked and it quickly became my primary sport.
What travel team do you play on and what showcase events did you participate in?
During the summer of 2014, I played with the Minnesota Elite club team program. We attended the UMass Mid-summer Classic, the Baltimore Summer Kickoff where I participated in the all star game, and Hot Beds.
Any final thoughts?
I want to thank Cory Childs and LC Morschel at True Lacrosse for supporting me even after I made the switch to Minnesota Elite.
I want to thank the coaches at Homegrown Lacrosse, Aaron Lipkin and Joe Turner, who encouraged me to try out for Minnesota Elite.
I want to thank Rob Horn at Minnesota Elite, who really moved me along the recruiting process, and Rob Graff at Team MN who aided me through the thought process of committing.
Lastly, I want to thank my mother, Aisha Baker. She believed in me when I did not, and without her, none of this would have been possible.
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