As far as internships go, Craig Baker has a pretty good one.
He’s pitching in with the OKC Energy.
Craig has always dreamed of being an equipment manager. And thanks to a unique program at Deer Creek, Craig is interning as one with the Energy.
"I love doing what I’m doing," said the Deer Creek senior.
And so do the players.
“Guys need help chasing balls, he’s on it, if guys need help with anything, he’s always first on the scene, so he’s been great," said Energy defender Christian Ibeagha.
Craig is part of the transition program at Deer Creek, offered to special needs students to prepare them for life after high school.
Nick Pettit is a special needs teacher at the school, and forged a connection with the Energy, in part thanks to his days playing against Christian in high school, a former Antler himself.
“I asked Christian if he could get some of the guys and just come hang out with us in the room and interact with our students there," said Pettit.
Those classroom visits then led to Craig’s opportunity with the Energy. He’s the program’s first student to land an internship.
“It’s just nice for me to sit back, and see a big smile on his face, just seeing how he’s thriving and just getting the experience he wants," said Pettit.
And the one thing maybe even more valuable than experience, is the bond he’s developed with the team.
“Every time I see Craig, I give him a shout, ‘What’s up Craig?’” said Ibeagha.
“I get to work with a professional team, that treats me like a little brother," said Baker.
Craig said after high school he wants to go to OU, graduate, get an apartment and car, and of course, become an equipment manager.