Bajema Receives Waiver, Making Him Eligible for Next Week's UW Opener

The shooting guard from Michigan should contribute right away to the Huskies, who face Portland State on Nov. 25.
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The last bit of outstanding Husky basketball paperwork has been completed.

Cole Bajema, one of two Division I transfers joining the University of Washington basketball program, has received his NCAA waiver that enables him to play right away when the season begins next week, the school announced Wednesday.

The 6-foot-7 Bajema, a shooting guard and local player from Lynden, Washington, left Michigan in the offseason to return home and play.

He joins Wichita State transfer and 6-3  shooting guard Erik Stevenson, another locally produced player from Lacey, Washington, who was cleared to play last week. 

Stevenson, a junior, was a starter and an 11.1-point scorer last season at the Kansas school and should find himself in the opening lineup when the Huskies open against Portland State on Nov. 25 at home, with tipoff at 8 p.m.

Bajema, a sophomore, played in a handful of games for the Wolverines last winter and left the school over his lack of playing time. He likely will begin his UW career by coming off the bench, but is expected to contribute.  

"Cole is an extremely hard worker who is highly skilled," Husky coach Mike Hopkins said. "He has great size and elevates everyone around him on and off the court. He's another local guy who is a great addition to our program and we're excited to see him in the purple and gold."

The addition of Bajema and Stevenson, plus junior-college guard Nate Pryor, should greatly boost the Huskies, who have lost six players off a last-place Pac-12 team to the NBA, transfer, graduation and suspension.

Leading returning scorer Naz Carter, a 6-6 senior who averaged 12.2 points per game, isn't expected back after being dropped from the team for a code of conduct violation. 

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