High School Sports

First time in 18 years Whatcom basketball player commits to a Power Five school

Lynden Christian’s Cole Bajema, right, shoots and scores over Lynden’s Dakota Baar Jan. 19 at Lynden Christian. Bajema now a senior announced via Twitter Friday that he has committed to play basketball for Michigan. He will be the first Whatcom boys player at a Power Five school since Luke Ridnour.
Lynden Christian’s Cole Bajema, right, shoots and scores over Lynden’s Dakota Baar Jan. 19 at Lynden Christian. Bajema now a senior announced via Twitter Friday that he has committed to play basketball for Michigan. He will be the first Whatcom boys player at a Power Five school since Luke Ridnour. The Bellingham Herald file

Lynden Christian senior Cole Bajema announced via Twitter Friday that he has committed to play basketball for the University of Michigan.

“I am excited and blessed to announce that I will further my education and basketball career by accepting a scholarship offer to attend the University of Michigan,” Bajema wrote in the post. “I would like to thank God, my parents and my coaches for their help in allowing me to realize my dream of attending the greatest University in the world. GO BLUE.”

As a junior, Bajema helped the Lyncs claim the Class 1A state title in March and was selected the Class 1A State Player of the Year by the Associated Press. He was listed as a 6-foot-7 guard on the Lyncs’ postseason roster., though rivals.com lists him as a small forward on his bio page.

The early signing period for National Letters of Intent for NCAA Division I basketball is Nov. 14-21, according to nationalletter.org. Once Bajema signs, he will become the first Whatcom County boys basketball player to play at a Power Five conference program — schools in the Big Ten (which Michigan is a part of), Pac-12, SEC, ACC or Big 12 conferences — since Blaine’s Luke Ridnour signed to play for the University of Oregon in 2000.

Bajema, who is playing for the Bellingham Slam in the Seattle Pro-Am this summer, also received offers to play at Xavier, Washington, Oregon State and Virginia, according to a tweet by NWAC Scouting.

Not surprisingly, Bajema’s announcement has generated plenty of excitement in the Whatcom County basketball community, including LC coach Roger DeBoer, who tweeted, “Wow! More importantly a 5 (star) young man who is low key, humble and a tremendous teammate. It is an honor to be his coach.”

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