Hampton girls basketball standout Baker commits to Grove City
Friday, February 21, 2020 | 2:25 PM
The Hampton girls basketball program saw three players move on to college careers when Katie Baker was a sophomore. Now, she will become the first since then to do so.
Baker, a 5-foot-9 power forward who led Hampton with nearly 10 rebounds per game, committed this winter to play at Grove City.
“I’ve been playing basketball since as long as I can remember,” she said. “I was really looking forward to playing in high school, and I always wanted to play in college. I’ve been looking forward to it a long time.”
Baker credits Renee Shehady, coach of her AAU team 4 Seasons Hoops, with helping to prepare her for her journey.
“It’s a team I just loved to be a part of. They helped me excel in my skills and helped me realize I could go on to play college basketball. The support I got from my coaches and teammates was really helpful.”
Baker credits her father, Chris, for spending time with her in the gym over the years. The hard work paid off when Grove City offered her.
“He got me into loving basketball,” she said. “A lot of my friends also played, so it was just really fun to be part of something bigger than myself and learn what it means to be a good teammate.”
She brought those ideas to Hampton, where she was a senior leader on a team with many underclassmen. The team made strides this season after a four-win campaign in 2018-19, missing the playoffs by two games.
“One thing I really did love about Hampton is the girls,” she said “I love the underclassmen coming up and the seniors. Yeah, we’re rebuilding a little, and it would’ve been nice to have a winning season. But in some ways, it was a winning season because I got to see the girls come together better than they did last year.”
Baker should look forward to more winning with the Wolverines, who are having an excellent season. The team started 21-2 and, at press time, was in contention for the Presidents’ Athletic Conference regular-season title, one game behind Saint Vincent.
“They’re a really fantastic team,” said Baker, who had the opportunity to visit and stay the night with some of the girls on the team.
“Coach (Chelle) Fuss, one thing that drew me was their defense. She really emphasizes defensive strategy, and I’ve always been more keen to that side of the ball.”
More Basketball• Seton LaSalle girls take down Jeannette in opening round of WPIAL playoffs
• George Guido: Covid concerns force organizers to cancel 2021 Cager Classic all-star game
• Hampton’s Murray siblings show drive to succeed
• Shady Side Academy boys beaming with confidence after big wins, playoff seeding
• Fox Chapel basketball teams prepare to make run through WPIAL playoffs