Recently, I caught up with the #1 ranked player in the class of 2021, Patrick Baldwin Jr. Last year, the 6’9 forward moved to Wisconsin shortly after his father, Pat Baldwin Sr., earned the head coaching position at UW-Milwaukee. Pat holds 16 college offers, including Duke, UCLA, Georgetown, Marquette, Illinois, Florida, and more. He will be playing his high school ball at Hamilton high school in Sussex, Wisconsin. I talked with the five star about his strengths, his goals, and growing up in a basketball family.
G: What do you think is the strongest part of your game?
PB: Right now I think right now I am the jack of all trades offensively. At 6’9 I can space the floor with range that extends far past the 3 point line. As well as floor spacing I can put it on the floor weather is getting all the way to basket or 1 or 2 dribbles into a pull up. At this stage I believe I am a good passer and that’s credit to growing up around high levels of basketball all my life.
G: What are you going to focus on this off season before high school ball starts up again?
PB: It goes without saying that I will continue to develop and master that skill I already possess as well as continuing to develop on the defensive side of the ball. But for this upcoming season it’s important to remain focused on the end goal which is a state championship.
G: What was your reaction to being ranked #1 in your class?
PB: I’m not really too sure, I do know I was excited but that didn’t change me as a person or as a player. It was a big testament to how much work I have put in to this point but there is much more work necessary to get to my desired destination
G: How has your dad been a mentor to you and pushed you to be become the player you are today? Are you around his teams often?
PB: I’ve always been around his teams very often, when your dad is a coach at any level you grow up with a different appreciation for basketball. I’ve been fortunate to not only have my dad as someone who’s brain I can constantly pick but I’ve been fortunate to have two amazing parents who are always in my best interest as well as being my biggest fans.
G: What NBA player do you model your game after?
PB: Two of my favorite NBA players that I model my game after are Devin Booker and Jayson Tatum. I love how effective they are at creating space and how efficient they are when scoring of the bounce. On top of that they are great people.
To close the interview I asked Pat what fans should expect to see from him this winter. His answer: “You can expect a state championship.”
Let’s put it this way: He wants to win. He has the skills. This kid is a prodigy.