One of the top high school basketball players in the country, Patrick Baldwin Jr., has chosen UWM.
Baldwin, ranked as the No. 4 prospect nationwide, is the highest-ranked recruit to ever choose a Horizon League school. Baldwin had his pick of some of the best college basketball programs in the country, including Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Wisconsin, but chose to play closer to home and for his father at UWM.
Baldwin, a sweet-shooting 6-9 forward, missed most of his senior season because of an ankle injury, but led Sussex Hamilton to the Division 1 state semifinals as a freshman and to the sectional finals as a junior before the pandemic cut that season short. Baldwin said Wednesday that his ankle is almost fully healed.
For UWM men’s basketball coach Pat Baldwin Sr., the day was about more than just basketball – he’s a proud dad too. Because of NCAA rules, Baldwin has never been able to coach his son’s team.
“First of all, it’s a very emotional day for Patrick and for our family, and we are extremely happy that he has finally come to a conclusion on his decision on where he wants to go to school,” Baldwin Sr. said. “I am extremely happy for him – he has waited for this moment ever since he could dribble a basketball.”
For Baldwin Jr., the chance to play for his father was equally special.
“It means the world to me,” Baldwin Jr. told reporters after announcing his decision on ESPN. “He’s been my trainer, he’s been my coach, he’s been my father, so it’s getting a chance to play for him and really kind of help his team win next year. It means a whole lot to me.”
Baldwin was one of the last high-profile recruits to commit to a college program. He kept his decision under wraps, telling almost no one until Wednesday. He told his family a week ago.
And his parents’ reaction?
“Dad was smiling. Mom was crying.”