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GAC's Baker now a mentor for hoops players

File Photo  New York Liberty guard Sherill Baker (10) goes up for a shot.

File Photo New York Liberty guard Sherill Baker (10) goes up for a shot.

Sherill Baker meets with the point guards for Auburn University women's basketball team once a week.

As a former standout point guard at the University of Georgia and in the WNBA, Baker has some guidance for the young players.

"I want to help them in any way I can," Baker said.

The Auburn players have found a good source. Baker, who will be inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of on Saturday at Coolray Field, has enjoyed success at every level of her career.

She led Greater Atlanta Christian to a pair of state titles in high school, earned All-American honors, set school records at UGA and played in the WNBA.

"They ask me what it's like to play overseas and in the league and if they can make it," Baker said.

Baker, 30, is the director of basketball services at Auburn. It's her first step toward a coaching career after a long and successful playing career.

"I had a couple of people mentor me and it's my turn to give back," Baker said.

One of those people was her high school head coach Dana Davis, who will introduce Baker at the hall of fame ceremony.

"When I first came to GAC, he took me under his wing and took care of me," Baker said.

Baker is the second GAC basketball standout to be inducted into the hall of fame, joining Cindy Brogdon, who was in the inaugural class in 2010.

"I was surprised, shocked, humbled," Baker said of the selection. "There are so many great athletes that have come through Gwinnett. I never thought about (myself) that way."

Baker led the Spartans to state titles in 2001 and 2002 and scored 2,276 points in her high school career, along with 822 rebounds, 602 assists and 634 steals.

The 2002 grad was named Miss Georgia Basketball and her No. 22 jersey is retired at the Norcross private school.

Baker was a four-year starter at Georgia and earned All-SEC and All-American honors. She averaged 12.7 points per game and her 1,665 career points put her on the Bulldogs' top 10 all-time scoring list. Baker made a name for herself on defense, setting a school record for steals in a season (149) and a career (426). Her 149 steals set the SEC record and led the nation. It also helped her win national defensive player of the year honors.

Baker was drafted 12th overall by the New York Liberty in the 2006 WNBA draft. She played seven years of professional basketball in the WNBA and overseas. Her final season was in 2012 with Tel Aviv in the Israeli League, where she averaged 24.4 points.

"I told myself when I was done playing I wanted to coach," Baker said.

That led her to Auburn, where she's in her first season with the program and handles the video and film editing, scouting reports and helps the coaching staff with their needs.

"I want to be at Auburn for a while," Baker said. "That's what I would like."