Knights’ Kraemer No. 1 with Bay

Signs letter of intent to play basketball

Norway’s Jordan Kraemer signs a national letter of intent to play basketball at Bay College. Norse coach Rae Drake Jr., left, looks on along with Kraemer’s brother Elliott.

NORWAY – Rae Drake Jr. finally got his prized recruit.

Norway High School’s all-time leading scorer Jordan Kraemer signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for Drake at Bay College. Kraemer signed on Friday afternoon, officially making her an inaugural member of Bay College’s women’s basketball team.

“I really thought about the idea of being part of a brand new program,” Kraemer said. “I think it’s going to be really amazing to set the foundation for something that I believe is going to be amazing within the next couple years, maybe even this year. I looked at how close I would be to home. I’ll still get my family to come and watch me and some friends, and the community that stood behind me for the past four years at Norway. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Drake didn’t mince words when explaining where Kraemer fell on his recruiting list, saying, “She was No. 1.”

Drake had visited Kraemer and watched her play numerous games at Norway High School. He had become familiar with Kraemer’s recruiting journey. Her main goal was to play at a Division II school. She tried out at Michigan Tech, but with no spot on the roster, she visited Bay College.

“I went and toured there two weeks ago. On the ride back to Norway, my parents and I were talking about it,” Kraemer said. “I felt at home as soon as I stepped onto campus. That’s where I want to be, that’s where I want to play.”

Drake recalled how he reacted to Kraemer’s decision to attend and play basketball at Bay College.

“It’s a very moving moment because she had a few disappointments along the way in the recruiting process,” Drake said. “I just wanted her to be sure, to be happy, because as a coach, you want players to want to be there. She wants to be there. My reaction to it was like, ‘This is the player of the year.’ What else can you say? Wow. I wasn’t totally surprised, but it was a stunner.”

During the lengthy recruiting process, Drake said Kraemer was always accommodating and listened.

“From the very beginning of the recruiting process, Jordan was always open and respectful toward Bay College. As a first-year program and a program that’s never existed, I really appreciated that,” Drake said. “Every game, she always visited with me. There’s something that attracts you to a person like that – she’s a very kind person.

“She had several options, she told me about those options. I said ‘Go explore them. Explore all the options you can,'” Drake added. “The only thing I told her, I asked her for a favor. I said ‘Before you make a final decision, come to Bay and visit. She came to Bay and visited, and liked it. I knew she would like it, whether she visited or not I had no idea.”

Kraemer was a three-time Mid-Peninsula Conference player of the year and a two-time selection to the All-UP Dream Team. She was also the first Norway athlete selected All-UP Player of the Year. She scored 1,384 points while at Norway, more than any boys or girls player in school history.