By: Nate Calvin
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
WEST UNITY – Hilltop’s 6’2” junior Libbie Baker surpassed 1,000 career points on January 5, 2024 in a 66-8 win over North Central and she did it in a grand way.
Baker broke her own school record for points in a game as she poured in 44 points (record was 40) becoming the sixth Lady Cadet to reach the mark and the first since 2014 graduate Hannah Bleikamp.
“It really means a lot, reaching 1,000 points has always been a goal of mine since I started playing”, explained Baker.
“Doing this as a junior is like checking a box on my to do list and it leaves me more time to create more goals to check off”, added Baker, who said she now has her sights set on the rebounding record.
Sixth-year head coach Troy Grime has high praise for Baker, who as a sophomore was named 1st Team BBC, 1st Team District 7, 2nd Team All-Northwest District, and All-Ohio Honorable Mention in Division IV.
“First and foremost, Libbie is a very well-rounded person. She is a natural leader on and off the court for us”, stated Grime.
“She’s very supportive of everyone in practice but also will hold them accountable, along with herself, when we are struggling.”
“Libbie will take constructive criticism and work on improving in that area”, added Grime when speaking about Baker’s growth has a player to this point in her career. “She is also able to play various spots on the floor and she does so very well.”
“We are blessed to have her as part of the Lady Cadet basketball family”, concluded Grime.
In high school, Baker has participated in volleyball and track along with having AAU basketball and volleyball on her plate.
“I have been around basketball ever since I can remember from doing camps in the fourth grade to being a water girl for my sisters’ team.”
“I started playing AAU in the seventh grade and played during eighth grade as well. I took a break until the summer after my sophomore season, and I really enjoyed playing with that team and made many new friends”, she elaborated.
“Some of the friends I played AAU with I now play against during the season which has been a lot of fun.”
Baker, who is a member of Student Council, National Honor Society, and has been very successful in the FFA, has had plenty of support from her parents, Joel and Brenda Baker, and her sisters, Lana, and Leanna Baker.
“My parents have always pushed me to be the best version of myself and have supported me in anything that I have done”, detailed Baker.
“My sisters have helped me improve on and off the court, from playing by my side during my freshman year, to working with me one-on-one with my fundamentals. They have taught me how to be a leader and have pushed me to always by a team player.”
Baker also added what her advice is to young players just starting their careers. “There will be people who doubt you, but there are always those who support you and all of your goals”, began Baker.
“Never listen to those who are only there to drag you down and DO NOT give up!”