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Star guard Baker says he won't attend Mater Dei
Jemarl Baker, one of the stop boys basketball players in the state, said Thursday night that he will remain at Roosevelt of Eastvale for his senior season and not transfer to Mater Dei, as had been speculated.
"Roosevelt is home," Baker said in a Twitter direct message interview. "I've always loved the school and I didn't want to have to move away from home before I go off to college."
Baker, a 6-4 shooting guard who has committed to Cal, is ranked by ESPN as the No. 6 overall player in California and No. 15 at his position in the U.S.
As a junior, Baker averaged 16 points per game and helped lead Roosevelt to a spot in the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs.
Two weeks ago, reports surfaced and were confirmed that Baker had checked out of Roosevelt and registered at Mater Dei. But when asked at that time if he was transferring to play for the perennial powerhouse Monarchs, Baker said he had not decided.
"Just being able to finish what I started at Roosevelt is what determined my decision," he wrote Thursday night, "and being able to talk with coach (Stephen) Singleton about what I wanted to improve on in this upcoming year."
Last week, Baker scored 20 points and won the Most Valuable Player award for leading his travel ball club, Earl Watson Elite, to the championship of the elite 17-under division at the Fab 48 Tournament in Las Vegas.
Baker is a prolific 3-point shooter with NBA-distance range. Last season, Baker had 30 points in a season-opening tournament victory over Westchester, he had eight 3-pointers in an early-December loss to Chino Hills, and he buried a buzzer-beater in double-overtime to stun Fairfax in the Southern California Regional first-round Division I playoffs.