Check out Patrick Baldwin Jr., a five-star recruit,'s skills on the court. Video courtesy itsovertime.com (1:08).
MILWAUKEE (WISDOM) -- Patrick Baldwin Jr. has been impressing his University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers teammates all summer. He shot easy 3-pointers and put the ball between his legs midair. This was all in support of his father Patrick Baldwin Sr.'s Horizon League school.
Vin Baker Jr. believed that two of his teammates had caught Baldwin Jr., a 6-foot-9 five star recruit, as he dribbled up to the court during a pickup match. Baker thought he would be forced to pass.
He was wrong.
Baker, a Boston College transfer, said that Baker did a double behind-the back move, finished the layup and pointed at the defenders. He then started running back on defense.
How does a projected lottery selection -- he's No. 8 in ESPN's 2022 NBA Draft Top 100 -- how does a projected lottery pick -- he's No.
Baldwin Jr. has a team that will help him prove those doubters wrong about his decision of coming to Milwaukee. Ashley Steltenpohl
Baldwin Jr. followed the Milwaukee Bucks' march towards their first NBA title for 50 years on two jumbo screens located in the Deer District. This is the area just outside of the newly-opened Fiserv Forum. Giannis Antetokounmpo, his teammates made Milwaukee a basketball-loving community and confirmed the dreams of local hoopers by beating the Phoenix Suns in their first NBA championship since Kareem Abdel-Jabbar won it in 1971.
Baldwin Jr. was sold on Milwaukee by the opportunity to play for his dad, but a second factor became apparent as he considered his options over the past year. Baldwin Jr. wondered if he could replicate Antetokounmpo’s success and bring an underdog to national prominence too.
Baldwin Jr. stated that "just seeing him in a little market and seeing how it changed a city like that" was what "really influenced me to go to [Milwaukee].
Milwaukee is a great place to be for a young star forward, like Baldwin Jr. who averaged 7.7 points per game and 5.0 rebounds for the USA Basketball team that won a gold medal in the FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup. Milwaukee is currently 47-70 under Baldwin Sr. who hasn’t completed a season. 500
Even though it is not the current trend for five-star recruits, the Baldwins think their pairing will prove fruitful. In the past 15 years, the Panthers have only reached the playoffs once (2014). The NBA team faced similar problems. Baldwin Sr. had just been eliminated from the playoffs for seven consecutive rounds when he accepted the job in Milwaukee.
Baldwin Jr. was a Chicago Bulls scout back then. While his father was an assistant at Northwestern, Baldwin Jr. had spent his middle school years in Chicago following Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose. The Bucks became more appealing to him after his family moved to Milwaukee. This was largely due to Giannis who came as a scrawny Greek prospect but went on becoming a two-time MVP.
As they have watched Giannis and Bucks change the story of their franchise, the Baldwins draw inspiration from them. They want to do the same for the small college campus located near Lake Michigan's shoreline.
Baldwin Sr. said, "You can definitely see the transformation in Milwaukee's sports perspective." "Obviously, Giannis has transformed it further with the win of a championship. ... We want to capture some of this."
"He's like top-five prospects, right?" Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks power forward, asked when he first heard about Baldwin Jr.
"It's just amazing to hear how he takes pride in where it's from, taking pride his city, and his hometown," Bucks center Brook Lopez stated about Baldwin Jr. "and trying to make something more of it."
Milwaukee (pop. Milwaukee (pop. Giannis demonstrated this when he posted live from a Chickfil-A drive-thru on Instagram the morning after leading the team towards the NBA championship. His openness extends the legacy of Bucks players who have embraced their community.
Baldwin Jr. impressed coaches, scouts, and teammates with his skills as a passer and ball handler, and perimeter shooter. He was also on the U-19 USA squad. FIBA
In the 1980s and 90s, NBA players used to show up at Lincoln Park, the city's most lively playground court, for pickup games. Former Bucks star Tim Thomas's Bentley would often be parked in front of Gee's Clippers on Saturday mornings. This popular barbershop is frequented regularly by local pro athletes. You might also see Sam Cassell at the local high school game just before a crucial NBA matchup or Ray Allen at a cinema. The Bucks were marked by inconsistency over the years following Abdul-Jabbar’s departure in 1975. They never developed an arrogance or demanded a pedestal. They knew that they didn't deserve it.
Baldwin Jr. fits the blue-collar personality of this city. He is a calm, confident athlete who only displays his confidence when he is on the court or playing Madden. His life revolves around video games, basketball and family. His Instagram account has 34,000 followers and only six posts that are related to basketball. He said that he would probably go to work on a day off.
Baldwin Jr. is driven and talented, and believes that he can still reach his NBA goals, even though he doesn't play at a top school.
Baldwin Jr. stated that he thinks that reflects the quality of NBA scouting: if someone is talented, they will find you." "But at the same time, I am skeptical because I don't know of any other guys doing what I do. This just drives me to work harder, because I feel the odds are against me.
Recent trends in college basketball indicate that he is probably correct.
In the 2021 NBA draft, four players were selected from non-Power 5 schools. Their draft stocks were not reduced by the profiles of their schools. Insiders in the NBA believe Baldwin's selection will allow him to have his draft stock properly analyzed.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. wants Milwaukee to be in the national spotlight like Giannis did with the Bucks. Ashley Steltenpohl
One Eastern Conference executive said to ESPN that he was going to see him, and that he has two to three of us going with him to practice. There are also games in November and December. He's located in a NBA city, and only two hours from another (Chicago). It's easy for you to reach him.
Staying home has other benefits. Baldwin will enjoy the respect of the city if he can lead the Panthers into their second NCAA tournament in six years. Joah Tucker, a former Milwaukee star who scored 32 points against Illinois during the program's Sweet 16 appearance in 2005, stated that people still ask him about that run.
Baldwin Jr. said that he believes this inspires other children to "stay home" and to take the next step to do what he did. The possibilities are limitless. After doing what we did, I am a Milwaukee made man. It's still something I talk about with bank employees and business associates."
Patrick Baldwin Sr. may stare at the photo occasionally.
He is holding his son, his infant, at the free-throw-line in a gym during his time as an assistant coach at UW Green Bay. This was one of five stops before he moved to Milwaukee.
Baldwin Sr. kept his boy close to the game throughout his career. This was their chance to get to know each other. Baldwin Jr. was assistant coach at Loyola between 2004 and 2011. He would ask his dad to pick him up so he could dunk. He would often go to the bench and fetch water for his teammates during games.
Courtesy Patrick Baldwin Sr.
Baldwin Jr. was a gifted young player and his father taught him the skills that made him the versatile prospect that he is today.
Baldwin Jr. stated, "He's given my basketball IQ to a point where there aren’t many players I can put in front me that I can’t handle." Baldwin Jr. said, "Someone I can't handle?" "I have to work harder and improve."
Baldwin Sr. was hesitant to pitch his son as early as possible in the recruiting process. However, he did so when he entered his senior year in high school. It was not an issue at dinner about where his son would be committing. The topic was not discussed on walks with the dog, or during family outings with his three daughters and wife. Baldwin Sr. was a parent and not a anxious head coach when his son asked questions about other schools.
He received a text message months before signing day: Baldwin Jr. had chosen Milwaukee. He wasn't sure his son was certain about his decision.
Baldwin Sr. stated that he didn't know what he believed. "I didn't want him to do anything because it was a difficult, hard decision for him and I didn’t want it be contentious. It was something I tried to avoid and I didn't talk to him about.
Baldwin Jr. quickly signed the letter of intent for his dad, who considers his son his "best friend".
Baldwin Jr. stated, "Pretty much everywhere my dad is coaching," and "I would like to be at."
They are still learning the player-coach relationship. It could be a one year experiment if Baldwin Jr. decides that he wants to go pro after his first season.
Their team has already seen the benefits of their partnership. Baldwin Sr. stated that he can now ask Baldwin Jr. for information about the team, and Baldwin Jr. claimed that his father has helped him to become a better leader.
Basketball is their favorite sport.
Their shared love of the game has been the core of their relationship. Baldwin Sr. tried other avenues to reach out to his son, but these efforts have not been as fruitful.
He said, "There was a moment when I tried something on Xbox and I couldn’t understand it." "I believe it was the [NBA 2K] stuff. "I didn't know what the controls were."
Baldwin Jr. said, "I have Charlotte Hornets. This is almost two years ago. They have Kemba Walker. Kemba is my hero. He had all the great Lakers: Kobe Bryant and LeBron James; Kareem AbdulJabbar; Shaq. He had everyone. He had no excuses."
No. 4 recruits in the Class 2021; projected No. 8 in the 2022 NBA Draft; FIBA U-19 World Cup Winner. Baldwin Jr. can bring his success to the Horizon League program of his father? FIBA
The supporters might feel the exact same way this season. Baldwin Jr. has helped to increase the excitement around the team.
Milwaukee's soccer players were unnoticed last year. People now point at them at restaurants. Students stop students on campus to tell them how excited they are for the season.
Baldwin Jr. stated that many of our players go to the city to shop for groceries or to get food. Then they are stopped by people and recognized. Baldwin Jr. stated that the city has already shown love.
Baldwin's teammates are determined to support him in proving his optimism with results, and showing doubters that Baldwin did not settle for a lower program.
DeAndre Gholston said, "We want him to show his family that he did not make the wrong decision." He averaged 16.8 PPG last year.
After watching Giannis and Bucks, Patrick Baldwin Jr. believes that he has the blueprint for leading this team. A year ago, the Bucks' run seemed impossible.
A school from the Horizon League that wants to be a part of the NCAA tournament may face similar doubts, even though Baldwin Jr. is a star. The Panthers won't be affected by this doubt.
They live in a place where their dreams have come true. They now believe that it can happen for them too.
Baldwin Jr. stated that he has never been one to be all about bright lights, despite all the respect for the other schools that I was recruited by. "I still like to play when the lights go on, but I don't need the hype to play well."