Duke basketball: Former guard denied waiver, beginning pro career

Former Duke basketball guard Joey Baker (Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Duke basketball guard Joey Baker (Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports) /

A former Duke basketball guard is beginning his pro career after being denied a waiver. 

It has been a wild ride of a career for former Duke basketball guard Joey Baker and he is ready for he next chapter.

Baker announced that he will be embarking on his professional basketball career after he applied for a waiver for another year of eligibility but it was denied.

The former Blue Devil was looking for a sixth year of eligibility since his initial redshirt season at Duke during his freshman campaign was burned for just a total of four games and 18 minutes logged on the court late in the year.

The NCAA denied the waiver, ending the college career of the Fayetteville, North Carolina native.


“5 incredible years,” Baker said on Twitter.

“Coach K and Coach Howard, thank you for pushing me and making me a better man.”

Joey Baker spent four years with Duke and in his best season — his sophomore year — he averaged 5.0 points per game in 12.1 minutes per contest.

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The 6-foot-7 guard’s time at Michigan only showed slightly better numbers as he posted a career-high 5.7 points in 16.4 minutes per game.

“To all my brothers I’ve met along the way, I got y’all for life!!,” Baker continued.

“The journey continues.”

Duke basketball guard has winning pedigree

Joey Baker was on the 2019 Duke team which won the ACC Tournament Championship and the 2022 squad that was the winner of the ACC regular season title.

He was the forgotten member of Duke’s heralded recruiting class comprised of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Tre Jones.

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Baker also made an Elite Eight appearance during the 2019 season and a Final Four appearance in 2022.

The NCAA Tournament was canceled in 2020 and Duke’s season was ended because of a positive COVID-19 tests in 2021 which did not allow the team to compete for a bid into March Madness.

It would take incredible workouts in front of NBA teams for Joey Baker to even get on draft boards ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft but the 38.3-percent career 3-point shooter could find his way onto an NBA Summer League roster or go straight to a career overseas.

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