Baker's commitment a special one

Ian Baker committed to South Carolina on Wednesday afternoon with his high school teammate, but the commitment meant more to the 2012 guard than more people can imagine.

Happiness comes in many forms, as does inspiration.

For Ian Baker, both of those things stemmed from his commitment to South Carolina on Wednesday afternoon.

Baker and his high school teammate Carlos Morris became Gamecocks, but for Baker, it's deeper than that.

The 2012 guard recently lost a close friend of his, and it's been rough on him.

But on Wednesday, the 6-foot guard had a reason to finally smile again.

"It's probably about as happy as I've felt since before his death," Baker said of the commitment. "I wish my friend was here to see this."

Baker favored three schools, and he recently crossed out Miami from his list, leaving South Carolina and Providence.

"It was down to Providence and South Carolina — and Kris Dunn committed to Providence this morning — and I felt like I was South Carolina's guy," he said. "So I just went ahead and did it."

Baker called up his Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) teammate to talk things out. The talk ended up in a commitment.

"I called Squirrel (Morris) and asked him if we were ready," Baker said. "We called our AAU coach, and he called the (South Carolina) coaching staff and let them know we were committing.

"It feels good. It always feels good going into a new thing with someone you've already played with. Me and Squirrel have real good chemistry. This'll be our third year together (at ACD), so I'm looking forward to the next four years after that."

The point man for the D.C. native's recruitment was South Carolina assistant Mike Boynton, who's built a solid relationship with the coaching staff down at the Jacksonville-based school.

"I have a real good relationship with Boynton," Baker said. "He has a good relationship with our AAU coach. He always makes me feel real good about the program. So he just let me know that was the place for me.

"Playing time is definitely one of the reasons I committed, as well. Who wouldn't want to come in and play right away?"

Baker is also ready to get to Columbia so he can gain an education and chase his collegiate dreams. And even though his friend has passed away, Baker knows that college was the ultimate goal that his buddy was pushing him to achieve.

"Everything I do is for him," Baker said. "He didn't care where I went, he just wanted to see me get to a college education."

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