Lynden Christian swingman Cole Bajema at Jake Mayberry Gymnasium during the 2018-19 season. Photo: Doug Lange
All In: Cole Bajema Sticks with Michigan
May 25, 2019
Lynden Christian basketball star Cole Bajema is "ALL IN" with the University of Michigan. The senior turned to social media to end speculation that a recent coaching change for the Wolverines might lead him to be consider going elsewhere.
On Friday night Bajema announced on Twitter that he was excited about new head coach Juwan Howard and was committed to staying with Michigan:
"The departure of coach Beilein came as big surprise. Given coach Beilein recruited me, I am sad to see him go but fully support him in his new venture at the Cavaliers. I cannot thank the entire Michigan basketball staff enough for their support. Having patiently waited for Michigan to name it's new head coach, I am very excited Juwan Howard is the new head coach. i believe he will uphold the great culture, that is Michigan basketball. I know there has been a lot of speculation out there but I am ALL IN for coach Howard and ready to report in June! Go Blue! "
Michigan hired 46-year-old Howard on Tuesday. The former Fab Five star at Michigan and long time NBA standout agreed to a five-year deal to replace John Beilein who jumped to the NBA after 12 seasons leading the Wolverines.
Bajema, the two-time All Northwest Conference MVP and state player of the year in the 1A classification, is reaffirming his commitment to Michigan just as the university tries to re-recruit former signee Jalen Wilson. On May 16th Wilson announced via social media that he had requested his release from Michigan, and was re-opening his recruitment.
Michigan will be happy to retain Bajema, who averaged 23 points per game during his senior season in leading the Lyncs to a 4th place finish at 1A state. The Wolverines can use the offensive punch after stars Ignas Brazdeikis, Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews all announced they are going pro.
Beilein leaves Michigan after compiling a 278-150 win-loss record with 9 trips to the NCAA tournament. The highlight of his tenure was a national runner-up finish in 2017-18 when the Wolverines lost to Villanova in the championship game.
Howard starred for Michigan from 1991-to-1994, going to 2 national championship games along with freshmen Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King. the former 1st round pick played for 8 NBA squads between 1994-and-2013. He was an assistant coach with the Miami Heat from 2013-2019.
- Doug Lange