Baker likes to keep it ‘simple’ on the court and in his closet


Redshirt freshman Jemarl Baker Jr. competes in the 3-point contest during Big Blue Madness on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

The California kid doesn’t just bring three-pointers to the bluegrass state; he’s also brought his west-coast style to the south.

Kentucky’s redshirt-freshman guard Jemarl Baker, Jr. shared that his favorite thing outside of basketball is fashion, and projects himself to the best-dressed player on the men’s basketball team. He said his teammates would agree.

“I like shopping for clothes, I like looking at clothes, and I like video games. Those are about equal,” Baker said.

If you know anything about how much many 20-year-olds like video games, you realize how much Baker actually does like fashion. The California native said his closet is so full that he’s “running out of hangers” and needs to get more.

Baker said he can’t pinpoint a favorite piece in his closet because of his abundance of clothing, but he has lots of Vans (he is from California, after all) and specifically likes searching for jackets. He said even his friends like to take peeks into his closet.

“I don’t know, I have a lot of stuff I like. Like everything I buy I like, and even when people come in my room they look in my closet and they like a lot of stuff too. So I don’t necessarily have a favorite,” Baker said.

His favorite stores to shop at include Urban Outfitters, which he said is easy for him since it’s right in the downtown area of Lexington, and PacSun. Some of his clothes, though, are more special to him than any store can offer.

“My friends have brands and I try to support them as well. Today I wore a sweatshirt in support of one of my friends, so I like to do that,” Baker said.

Supporting his friends by wearing their brands is something that’s important to Baker because of his pride in where he’s from, and he said he likes to support the people who have always been there for him in any way that he can.

The single word Baker would use to summarize his style? Simple.

“I’m not really out there, my stuff isn’t crazy but I like to look neat and put together pretty well,” Baker said.

His fashion sense isn’t the only part about himself that he describes as simple— his style of play on the basketball court also warrants the “simple” label.

“I don’t like to do too much on the court, I like to just get the job done, whatever that entails really. Whether it’s catch and shoot, one-dribble pull-up, just little things. Defending, that’s really simple I try to break down,” Baker said. “I’m just a simple guy. I don’t do anything really, I just stay in my room. On the court I’m simple, I don’t be doing a lot of moving all flashy and when I dress I like to be simple as well, just well put together.”

Baker hasn’t been able to showcase his simple play style on the court yet due to a knee injury he suffered last year, but he’s back to 100 percent and ready to play this season. The injury has motivated him to work hard to get healthy again and gives him a chip on his shoulder heading into this season.

He credits his loved ones, coaches and teammates for keeping him positive throughout the process.

“My family, the coaching staff, players, just I guess helping me be positive, telling me to be positive, and just telling me to keep smiling and just being myself,” Baker said. “Just through that, just working hard and now I’m where I want to be, so I’m happy.”