Late Saturday night, former Michigan basketball player Cole Bajema announced on Twitter his official plans to transfer to the University of Washington to continue his academic and college basketball career.
“First of all, I want to thank the University of Michigan and all the fans for all the support. I am grateful for all the relationships and memories I have made there,” Bajema wrote.
Bajema announced his decision to transfer from Michigan earlier this month. The decision came as a surprise, considering there were minutes to be had this upcoming season. But Washington seems like the right choice for Bajema, considering he is a native of Lynden, Washington, which is about an hour and a half away from Seattle.
The appeal of being closer to home, especially during a pandemic, is probably something a lot of kids are considering now. Not just players already in college, but high school recruits as well. It will be interesting to see how this affects kids Michigan is recruiting for the upcoming class.
Playing in 10 games for the Wolverines during his freshman season in 2019-20, Bajema scored 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. He also had four rebounds, two steals and a block.
Bajema, along with guard Franz Wagner, made up Juwan Howard’s first recruiting class at Michigan. Wagner announced last month he is returning to college for his sophomore season, opting to wait at least another year for the NBA Draft.
Michigan has seen three players transfer away from Ann Arbor this offseason — Bajema, David DeJulius and Colin Castleton. Juwan Howard and the Wolverines have brought in two players off the transfer market to help mitigate those losses — former Columbia guard Mike Smith and former Purdue guard Nojel Eastern.
The Wolverines also have four incoming true freshmen — center Hunter Dickinson, guard Zeb Jackson, forward Terrance Williams and forward Jace Howard.