Late-blooming and high-rising recruit commits to Michigan

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

As Cole Bajema started turning heads last month on the recruiting trail, he was waiting for one school to finally pull the trigger with an offer.

That finally came through, and Bajema will be joining John Beilein’s Michigan program.

“I am excited and blessed to announce that I will further my education and basketball career by accepting a scholarship offer to attend the University of Michigan,” Bajema, a 6-foot-7 forward in the Class of 2019, wrote on social media. “I would like to thank God, my parents, and my coaches for their help in allowing me to realize my dream of attending the greatest university in the world.”

Bajema has spent the bulk of his life living in Washington state, but lived for a few years in Michigan, where a sizable contingent of his family still resides. That has made the Wolverines Bajema’s dream school, as he detailed in a story written earlier this week on

His strong play in July earned him offers from Virginia, Xavier and Oregon State, but his fast rise wasn’t enough to sway him from ultimately choosing the school he wanted all along.

“He’s been upfront from the get-go that if Michigan offers, that’s his No. 1 choice,” his grassroots coach, Don Brady, told “They’ve been on him for the last three months, talking to him just about every week. They’ve built a relationship with him, and that ‘dream school’ still holds weight for him.”

Balema joins top-50 wing Jalen Wilson of Denton, Texas as part of Beilein’s 2019 class.