Personal life in shambles, Vin Baker’s NBA career ended in 2006 on a disappointing note. Five years later, Baker is well on the way to putting his life back together. Right now, in part, that means coaching the ninth grade team at his alma mater, Old Saybrook High School in Connecticut.
“I want young people to understand that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others,” Baker says in the newest issue of SLAM, SLAM 148. “You have to take care of yourself spiritually, emotionally and physically. It’s just that simple.”
During halftime of a February game, with photographer Jesse Burke in the house to shoot Baker for the magazine, the four-time All-Star “had to get all Knute Rockne” on his players, verbally cajoling the ninth graders to step up their game in the second half.
“You guys got to ride for each other.” Baker implored his kids. “I can not play for you today, I can’t.”