Cole Bajema, a four-star recruit and two-time 1A state player of the year from Lynden Christian, announced on Twitter Friday night his commitment to the University of Michigan.
Or rather, re-commitment.
Bajema, who signed a National Letter of Intent with the Wolverines, which he had called his “dream school,” doubled down on his commitment after the school hired former member of the Fab-5 and NBA All-Star Juwan Howard as its next head coach.
“I believe (Howard) will uphold the great culture, that is Michigan basketball,” Bajema tweeted. “I know there’s been a lot of speculation out here but I am ALL IN for coach Howard and ready to to report in June! Go Blue!”
Howard replaced John Beilein, who left Michigan to become the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers after 12 years and two Final Fours last month.
Bajema was recruited by Beilein, and the coach was a big reason he decided to commit. After Beilein left, Bajema waited to see who Michigan would hire next before making any decisions. Since he signed a NLI, he would have had to ask the school for a release, per NCAA rules.
Top-50 recruit Jalen Wilson, who set to be in Bajema’s recruiting class at Michigan, decommitted after Beilein left.
But Bajema’s connection to the school, and the area played a big part in his decision, too.
He was born in Grand Haven, Michigan, about two and a half hours from Ann Arbor, and still has family out there. His family moved to Washington when he was four, but Bajema remained a diehard Michigan fan.
Bajema, who has been among the top high school basketball players in the state of Washington over the past few seasons, reports to Ann Arbor at the end of June.
Andy Buhler is a reporter for Scorebook Live Washington. To hear him every week on the Scorebook Live Today podcast, subscribe here. Follow him on Twitter @AndyBuhler and reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.