Jeff Theis leaves diamond for court at Baker

Jeff Theis leaves diamond for court at Baker

After high school, Baker senior Jeff Theis wanted to play basketball. There was one problem: He was being recruited by colleges for baseball more than basketball.

So what did he do? He really had no choice. He played baseball. He played his freshman year at Baker, finished out the season and quit. 

“I like basketball more,” Theis said.

Men’s head basketball coach Rick Weaver knew of Theis, because he had seen him play basketball in high school.

“He came to watch me play a game in high school when (Paola) played Baldwin (High School) and I thought I played a pretty good game,” Theis said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, so I played baseball at Baker.”

The next few years at Baker, Theis’ sophomore and junior years, he played basketball intramurals, a sport that his whole heart was devoted to. After the summer before his freshman year, Theis never thought he would be playing on the varsity court. He was wrong. 

This is Theis’ first year playing Baker varsity basketball for Weaver.

“Weaver asked me last year as a junior if I wanted to play basketball this year,” Theis said. “I was planning on playing basketball somewhere (originally), but I had more offers in baseball, so that’s just what I did. Ever since I stopped playing baseball, I never thought I’d play basketball again because I didn’t have any offers out of high school. I was just focused on life after sports.”

Theis began practicing with former varsity Baker basketball players and new recruits.

Weaver saw him in the gym periodically and Theis made an impact. Weaver asked Theis one day if he wanted to play and it did not take him long to accept Weaver's offer.  <br/>Weaver asked Theis if he was interested last spring, allowing Theis to prepare the rest of the school year and into the summer. Weaver asked Theis if he was interested last spring, allowing Theis to prepare the rest of the school year and into the summer. 
Weaver asked Theis if he was interested last spring, allowing Theis to prepare the rest of the school year and into the summer. 

Senior Seth Malloy, who played with Theis on an intramural team, could tell Theis worked hard.

“He worked a lot this summer and I think he’s gotten a lot better at his shot,” Malloy said. 

Determination is not the only thing needed on the court, although it is an important quality. A player has to also mesh with team, both on and off the court.

Junior Brock Entner, a transfer from a junior college in Prescott, Ariz., said he was glad to have Theis on the team, not only for his leadership and hard work, but also for his friendship. 

“I think Theis fits in really well with the team,” Entner said. “Theis is a really nice guy, so everyone gets along with him and looks for his older leadership. He plays on a different squad than me, but I like matching up with him … He always plays hard defense and comes to work every day at practice.”

Thus far, Theis has no regrets about joining the Baker varsity team. He enjoys the practices and is eager to see what will become of the remainder of the season.]

“Obviously some days you want to play more than others but for the most part, I’ve had a lot of fun,” he said. “Our practices aren’t too demanding. I’ve enjoyed it a lot.”