Huskies Officially Announce Addition of Michigan Transfer Bajema

Locally produced shooting guard will have to sit out the coming season unless he receives a transfer waiver.
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The Washington basketball program, apparently having received all of the necessary signatures, on Friday officially announced the addition of Michigan transfer Cole Bajema, a local product from the Canadian border town of Lynden.

The 6-foot-7 shooting guard is the second homegrown player who has left for another major-college team and recently returned home to play for Washington.

In March, shooting guard Erik Stevenson departed Wichita State, where he was the second-leading scorer at 11.4 points per game, for the Huskies. He's a Lacey, Washington, native.

Both players will have to sit out a season as transfers unless they receive waivers.

UW coach Mike Hopkins made it clear he wants to have locally produced players on his roster and build around them.

"Cole fits in our Husky program perfectly and we're very lucky to have him," Hopkins said. "He is highly skilled, has great size and elevates everyone around him on and off the court. His work ethic, talent and character are exactly what we want in our family.

"It's our plan to bring the best players in our state to Montlake and we can't wait to see him in purple and gold."

Bajema, a four-star recruit from Lynden Christian High School, played as a freshman for Michigan but was limited in playing time because of a coaching change. He signed with John Beilein, who left for the NBA and was replaced by Juwan Howard.

Bajema, who picked Michigan over Washington and Virginia, appeared in just 10 games and averaged 2.6 points per outing for the Big Ten team. 

Since the season ended, the Huskies have added Bajema, Stevenson and junior-college guard Nate Pryor from North Idaho College, another local player. Pryor can play immediately. The UW has lost freshmen Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels to early entry to the NBA draft and had sophomore point guard Elijah Hardy transfer to Portland.