Amaris Baker on finding success at the next level | The Triangle

Amaris Baker on finding success at the next level

Photo by Raphael Bartell | The Triangle

Amaris Baker is a junior guard in her first year at Drexel, having transferred from Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, where she led the Bears to a 30-4 record, their most successful season ever. She has been a starter in every game for the Dragons thus far, factoring in as a crucial part of their 4-3 record in conference play. Last week, The Triangle sat down with Baker to discuss her decision to transfer to Drexel, her season so far and her future at the University. 

James Biernat: You’re from the Philly area originally, what was it like getting the call from Coach Mallon and what went into deciding to transfer to Drexel?
Amaris Baker: It was awesome. I always wanted to play college basketball back at home after my experience my freshman year [at Kennesaw State]. I wanted to be close to family and have that atmosphere, so when I got that call and had a conversation with Coach Mallon it was awesome. I mean, when I went on my visit I just knew this was the place for me, so it was a great conversation with her.

JB: That’s great to hear. Last year you led all of NJCAA Division 2 in scoring and averaged 27 points per game. What’s been the biggest challenge for you in transitioning that scoring ability to Division 1 play?
AB: Having people who can score with me has taken that pressure off me which has felt great. I’ve learned how to adjust with everything that was going on and being in a new place. Its definitely been a big jump, but I’ve been able to adjust very well.

JB: I’d say so, you’ve had a great last two weeks. You recorded your first double double, set your career high in points and won back-to-back Drexel female athlete of the week. Was there any advice from a coach or teammate that’s helped you elevate your play recently?
AB: All of my coaches honestly. I’ve been in the gym every single day, whether it’s with Stacy [Weiss] or Coach Kayla [Bacon] and having conversations with Coach Amy [Mallon] about anything. That’s helped me develop and helped me mentally be in the right headspace to perform well.

JB: I have to ask, now that you’re in University City, what’s your go to spot on campus for a post game meal?
AB: Shake Shack. Definitely when we score over 70 points. If not, I’ll go to Cinnabon. I just need something sweet to lighten my day.
JB: Yeah, they just put in a new Cinnabon on Lancaster.

AB: Yeah, isn’t that awesome?
JB: Yeah it is. I read in an article that you try to model your scoring game after Keishana Washington, who is obviously a Drexel legend. When she was here for her jersey retirement night, did you get to talk to her and can you talk about the impact she’s had on the program?
AB: Over the summer, we went to Ireland and she was at our games. Her being there helped feed me all the information she had gotten from Drexel, which I try to implement. It helped me a lot. She helped me stay patient and stay on course and I text her whenever I feel I’m in the wrong headspace and need advice. She’s always my go to, and she always texts me when I have a good game. Having her support has been awesome and having someone to look up to and seeing what she did with the program is something I want to repeat. I definitely appreciate her.

JB: If you could send one message to the Drexel fans as conference play continues to heat up, what would that be?
AB: Stay with us. It’s still early, I mean we still have two months left. Trust the process, because it’s not over yet and anything can happen. So, as long as we stay together we are going to be in great hands.

JB: So looking forward, you have multiple years of eligibility remaining, where do you see the future of this program and what personal goals do you have for yourself?
AB: I see this program having well-rounded players and having awesome coaches who I trust very very much. They know what they’re talking about so we just need to stay on course, stay level-headed, and listen to them. I know this program is always going to be really fun, especially with the new recruits coming in, who I’m super excited for. I am definitely looking forward to a conference title, getting to March Madness and staying as one, you know, five as one as Coach Belle [Koclanes] always says in practice. So as long as we do that we will be great. For individual goals, I just want to be better than what I was yesterday, just being 1% better each day, trusting the process, trusting myself, trusting my coaches and teammates and I want to see where it takes me.

JB: Thank you so much Amaris, have a great rest of your season!