Hall of Famer
Inducted in 1955
World Tour with the Harlem Globetrotters as a member of the "Stars of America."
Norman Baker was named Canada's outstanding basketball player of the first half of the 20th century. At 16, Baker was picked up by the Victoria Dominoes, thus becoming the youngest member to play for a Canadian Championship team. The Dominoes went on to win the Canadian senior basketball titles in 1940 and 1942. In late 1942, Baker enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, but was quick to join a wartime basketball club which took the Canadian Championship in 1943. In the final game against Windsor, Baker set a Canadian record by scoring 38 points in a single game. After his discharge from the RCAF, Baker entered the world of professional basketball, playing with the Chicago Stags in 1946 and the Vancouver Hornets from 1947-48. At a time when game score totals rarely exceeded 80 points, Baker led the league in scoring; in his first year in Vancouver, he attained an outstanding 1,962 points in 70 games. In 1947, Baker briefly revisited his other much loved sport, lacrosse, helping the New Westminster Adanac club to a Mann Cup championship. In 1948, Baker was the only non-American to play with the Portland team at the Professional World Basketball Championships in Chicago. It was here that he caught the attention of Abe Saperstein, coach, owner, and founder of the Harlem Globetrotters. Baker played for Saperstein's New York Celtics in 1949, as well as his Boston Whirlwinds in 1950-51. In 1950, Saperstein put Baker on his "Stars of America" team which played against the famed Harlem Globetrotters on a thirteen-week tour of Europe and North Africa. After the tour, Baker played one last season in Boston in 1951. He then returned to Victoria where he coached lacrosse and basketball before starting a career in the police force.