In a surprise turn, Duke forward Joey Baker might be done in Durham.
Baker will enter the transfer portal, per a team release Wednesday afternoon. Duke previously announced in April that its 2021-22 captain underwent postseason hip surgery and would return for his fifth season in a Blue Devil uniform under new head coach Jon Scheyer.
“My four years at Duke have meant the world to me,” Baker said in Wednesday's release. “I have grown immensely as a player, teammate, and most importantly as a person. The experiences I have been a part of will be memories that I carry with me for the rest of my life. The relationships I have built here are more meaningful than I could ever express, and the lessons have made me a better man. I want to thank every person within the program, but specifically Coach K and our coaching staff, for helping to make these past four years the best possible experience. You all have influenced me in ways few could understand. It’ll be an honor to receive my degree from Duke this summer and I look forward to the next stage of my career.”
News of Baker's decision comes after the NCAA's May 1 transfer portal deadline, meaning that Baker may need to be granted a waiver in order to play in the 2022-23 season for a program other than the Blue Devils. The Fayetteville, N.C., native plans to complete his political science degree at Duke this summer before departing for a new program.
Baker averaged 4.5 points on 40.5% 3-point shooting in his senior season while serving alongside junior forward Wendell Moore Jr. as team captain.
“It has been an absolute pleasure having Joey and his family in our program over the last four years,” former head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in Wednesday's release. “He’s been a joy to coach and a great leader for our young men. I’m thrilled he’ll be earning a degree from one of the great institutions in the world and I wish him all the best. Any program will be lucky to have him.”
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Jonathan Levitan is a Trinity junior and sports editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.