The University of Northern British Columbia Men’s Basketball just got younger, bigger, more athletic, and more skilled. The Timberwolves are excited to officially announce the commitment of Moscow, Russi,a product Evgeny Baukin for the upcoming 2022-2023 Canada West campaign, and beyond.
“This feels amazing. I am excited. I can’t wait to start practicing this summer and for preseason. I really can’t wait for next season. I know in Canada, it’s a really high level of basketball, and a really high level of education. I like UNBC. It’s a good university to play and to study the program I like. I really like Coach, the team, UNBC, and Canada.”
Despite hailing from a city 7,700 kilometres from Prince George, his name may be familiar to the basketball fans of Northern BC. Baukin made the move from Russia to Prince George prior to the 2021-2022 school year, where he enrolled at Duchess Park Secondary. The newest Timberwolf points to his year in town, plus a rich history of international student-athletes at UNBC as positives in his decision to join the green and gold.
“I really like the Prince George community. It has a lot of kind people, and everyone gives me help if I need some help. You feel like you’re not alone here. You have help. You can ask questions if you don’t understand something, and someone will help.”
It doesn’t take long watching Baukin on the hardcourt to realize he is an impact player. Standing six-foot-seven, he averaged 25 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game for Jordan Yu’s Condors program this year, helping DPSS to a City Championship and Zone Championship.
“I really liked last season. The whole team felt like a big family. We have good communication with coaches and teammates. I really enjoyed the season.”
With a long frame and wide shoulders, Baukin has the physical stature to make a major impact at both ends of the floor at the Canada West level. According to UNBC head coach Todd Jordan, it’s his new recruit’s basketball IQ and hunger to improve that will allow him to have a special five-year career for the TWolves.
“I am really excited to add Evgeny to our program. He is very skilled for a player his size and is still growing and developing as an athlete. He has a tremendous passing sense and a game that allows him to play inside and outside on the perimeter. He has a great opportunity to be extremely effective, and he has displayed the work ethic that will be required to make that happen. This is a really big get for our program.”
Most players with Baukin’s measurements tend to hone their game under the basket as purely post players, however the 17-year-old has refined his ball skills and footwork to allow him to be a threat all over the court. He points to his training in Russia with coach Alexey Savkov and the Dynamo program as crucial in his development, as well as his work with his father George Baukin at the Russia Basketball Academy.
“I am a pretty good shooter. I can shoot or go for a layup. If a small guard is guarding me, I can go to the post. If a big guy is guarding me, I can play him face to face. I really want to play the pro level after university basketball.”
If there was an adjustment to the North American style of basketball, the small forward didn’t take long to tweak his game. Baukin was named a City All-Star, a First Team Zone All-Star, and an All-Star at BC Provincial Championships in his only year of high school basketball on Canadian soil. That said, the former competitive swimmer anticipates there being an entirely new standard when he makes the jump to the highest level of university basketball in the country.
“It’s really different here. The physicality is different, and it’s a faster game. If in high school you can beat everyone, here you need a higher IQ to understand how you can do better.”
Baukin will graduate from Duchess Park in June and join his new teammates for training camp this summer. He will enroll in UNBC’s Business program and has a long-term goal of playing professionally.
“I really started liking basketball when I was born, I think. My parents were athletic; my mom played volleyball and my father played volleyball and basketball. I really started to like basketball when I was so young.”