Miami Dolphins LB recalls getting humbled by WNBA star Kelsey Mitchell after seeing her game-winner

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

If Miami Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker wasn’t certain that football was the right sport for him, being schooled by a future WNBA star on the basketball court may have helped make that decision easier.

Baker was reacting to a game-winning shot by Kelsey Mitchell for the Indiana Fever against the Chicago Sky on Thursday. His fellow Ohio State University Buckeye gave the Fever a two-point win years after she drove him out of pickup games at the campus’ rec center courts.

It has worked out okay for Baker, who was a third-round pick (No. 73 overall) by the Dolphins coming out of Ohio State in the 2018 NFL Draft. Though the 26-year-old expressed displeasure with his performance last season, when Miami made the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season, he has vowed to make up for it in 2023.

Baker had 100 combined tackles last season and has started every game but one over the past two seasons for the Dolphins. He is the first Dolphins player since at least 2000 to record at least 500 tackles in his first five years.

The linebacker undoubtedly will be a key player under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, whose arrival in Miami has Colin Cowherd predicting an AFC East title for the Dolphins.

It has also worked out well for Mitchell, who also was drafted out of Ohio State in 2018. The No. 2 overall pick of that WNBA draft has been one of the top scorers in the league since her arrival and last season averaged a career-high 18.4 points per game. The 27-year-old had played 153 consecutive games before a foot injury last season ended the longest active streak in the WNBA.

Neither Baker nor Mitchell have captured championships in their respective professional leagues, but Baker looks to be closer to doing so with the Dolphins entering the 2023 NFL season among the many contenders in the AFC.

If Miami can somehow win the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1973 campaign, maybe Mitchell will tweet a funny story about how she schooled Baker on the basketball courts at Ohio State.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NFL for almost three decades. He has been an avid follower of the AFC East since the days of Bob Griese and is looking forward to an exciting new era in the division.