Former Whitinsville Christian star Brady Bajema has been named the new head boys basketball coach at his alma mater, the school officially announced on Friday afternoon.
Bajema -- who teaches health, history, and physical education at the school -- will take over for his father, Jeff, who helped build the program into one of the state's most consistent across Division 3. The Crusaders won three consecutive Central Mass. Division 3 championships from 2010 to 2012, including a state championship in 2011 with the elder Bajema at the helm. Jeff Bajema was also Rick Martin’s assistant in 2005, when the Crusaders won their first state title -- with Bajema’s sons, Mitch and Brady, as the starting backcourt.
Brady matriculated to Gordon College, in Wenham, where he scored over one-thousand career points and led the Fighting Scots to the 2010 NCAA Division 3 tournament. Following his playing career, he spent two years at Gordon as a graduate assistant to head coach Tod Murphy before starting his career as a teacher at Whitinsville. This past season, he coached the Crusaders’ middle school team.
Speaking to ESPNBoston.com on Friday night, he expressed his excitement towards building his own program, but also continuing the winning tradition at Whitinsville.
"I’m pretty excited, I care about this school a lot -- it’s a special place," Brady said. "The basketball program has a great tradition...I appreciate the support from players, coaches, administrators. I’m excited about the group of guys that we have at WCS."
Brady and Athletic Director Leonard Krygsman met with members of the team during lunch hour on Friday afternoon, where he had an opportunity to talk to players and briefly lay down expectations.
"I got some good feedback from them. There are some tremendous leaders in this group," he said.
He received plenty of congratulations from his father as well, and said he will certainly draw from his father’s experience as he takes over a program that has been of the MIAA’s most storied over the course of the last decade.
"He’s been great," Brady said. "He’s willing to help in any way that I’d like him to help. But we both understand it’s my call now, that’s the way it needs to be, and I’ll definitely go to him for advice on certain things.
“It’s where I’m supposed to be. I understand the work and time [my dad] put in, and I’m willing to do the same to keep the basketball tradition [at Whitinsville].”