Joel Baucom is a 6’2 guard out of Davidson Day School in North Carolina and is a part of the 2021 recruiting class. He literally grew up around the game, as his mom was a high school coach, and even took his first steps on a basketball court while at one of his mom’s practices. He played in his first rec league game by the time he was 5 and started playing travel ball by the time he was 7. At an early age, Joel was exposed to highly competitive basketball.
Joel’s main source of inspiration has always been his mom. She has played a huge part in his life, in both his development as a player and as a man. He used to love watching her coach her teams and would soak up everything she was telling her players. The two of them always shared a deep passion and love for the game that brought the two of them closer.
One of the biggest challenges Joel has faced so far in his life was a coaching change. Throughout his whole life, his mom had been coaching him and at one point she decided it was best for her son to learn from other great coaches. Nothing had a greater impact on Joel’s playing career than when he and his family had to move to to North Carolina. For the young man, this turned out to be, “a much bigger adjustment than I expected.”
The move was a tough adjustment for Joel as he had to transition to a different style of play in his new home and there were no coaches he knew in the area that could help him. It came to a point where Joel’s parents sat him down and asked him if basketball was something he really wanted to pursue. After a couple of weeks of deliberation, Joel responded and said he wanted to play, but on one condition: his parents had to find a trainer that would really push him and “get him out of his comfort zone.” This is when Joel met one of his AAU coaches, Jeff McGinnis.Jeff reignited Joel’s passion for the game that lead to him making the Team Charlotte 2021 team.
Basketball has always been important to Joel and has played a huge role in his life. Basketball is much more than a game to Joel, “basketball has always been a place for me to focus, build relationships, learn, and grow as a player and a person. When I had to decide how badly I wanted basketball, it made me realize there will be other times in my life where I may have to decide how much I wanted something and need to work harder than I thought to achieve it.” This challenge turned out to be a life lesson that, seemingly, Joel will hold with him forever.
Joel says that, like any player, he has solid fundamentals and a strong skill set, but the things that separate him from other player his age are his court awareness and high basketball IQ. This is where being the son of a coach comes in handy as Joel has a great understanding for the game, well beyond his years. He believes that “the best players make their teammates better,” and that is his goal every time he plays.
Moving forward, Joel would love to have the opportunity to play in college and potentially overseas, as well. He does not have a dream school as he is just looking to join a program where he can really help the team and make a positive impact. Once his playing days are over, he wants to follow in his mom’s footsteps and become a coach, only he wants it to be at the collegiate level.
It is clear Joel has a wealth of knowledge for the game. As long as he puts that to good use, he will have a successful career in basketball, be it as a player or a coach, or both. We wish him the best of luck moving forward.
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