Wade Baldwin IV, as Told by His Best Friend

Feb 16, 2016; Starkville, MS, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores guard Wade Baldwin IV (4) brings the ball up court during the first half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Humphrey Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 16, 2016; Starkville, MS, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores guard Wade Baldwin IV (4) brings the ball up court during the first half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Humphrey Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports /

Sometimes, to really understand a player, you must talk to people who knows them best. That’s why I spoke with draft prospect Wade Baldwin IV’s best friend, who already has a Chicago connection.

With many mocks drafts having the Bulls picking Wade Baldwin IV at the 14th spot, it’s important to get some background information as to who Baldwin (who said we can refer to him as WB-IV) is.

Other than maybe Matthew Fisher-Davis, his former teammate at Vanderblit, no one knows WB-IV like his best-friend since high school, Marques Townes.

Townes, a New Jersey native, has known Baldwin since his sophomore year in high school. Townes is a transfer student from Fairleigh Dickinson University and will now be attending Loyola University in Chicago.

If Baldwin is drafted by the Bulls, his best friend won’t be too far away, seeing that he’ll be playing ball on Chicago’s North Side.

Townes gives us insight on how he and Baldwin met and who Wade is on and off the court.

The background:

"I knew of Wade my freshman year and he knew of me, but it all started when were sophomores in high school. Our school played in the Monsignor Kelly Christmas Classic in 2011 hosted by Immaculata High School (which was wade’s school at the time.) My school Cardinal McCarrick was in it and we lost in the semi finals. While Wade’s team won the whole thing. He saw my games and we both won All Tournament team. When we both saw each other after my team loss (wade was at the game) my team wasn’t heading into a good direction and his wasn’t either. We were both carrying our teams on our backs; and that’s when it all started. We both planned to head to a powerhouse school in St Joe’s (Metuchen) and team up with the Big KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns).When that happened we instantly became more than just friends we became brothers and our families became close as well. We instantly clicked we developed a very very close bond. I even switched my AAU program from the NJ Playaz, to SportsU to play with Wade because we were that close.That close bond helped when multiple conference and state championships and also the TOC (Tournament of Champions) which in NJ is the highest goal a high school team can reach. We did everything together, workout, hang out at my house after school, his house, go out together, etc!Then we went our separate ways to college, we as talked and kept in contact with each other throughout the season, but somehow destiny brought us back together when we both played in Dayton for the First Four Games which was an amazing experience for both of us."

Why such a strong brotherhood?

"Wade is my best friend because we both see the same vision! We want to make each other great, and we love to compete. We both established a life-time bond with each other that can never be broken. Just something with Wade clicked with him and I and we became so close which hasn’t happened to me with anyone before and vice-versa. We just wanted to do everything together. Another weird side note is people think we are actually brothers because we kind of look like each other."

Who is Wade Baldwin IV? The person? The basketball player?

"Wade is just a great guy all-around. A lot of people might perceive him differently because they hear things or there are rumors, but when you get to know Wade like I do and many other people besides me, you’ll see why many people love Wade!  Sometimes people can take competitiveness as “he’s a bad guy” like  Draymond Green for example, but man Wades’ a great guy with a great heart and just loves to compete! Funniest guy I know, he loves to make jokes. He never likes to lose (especially when I beat him in 2K) and he is a true Chris Brown fanatic. You will also never win a debate with Wade, he wins every time!He’s a great person because he shows a lot of character and a lot passion for whatever he does! He wants to make everyone around him vibe together and just enjoy the moment. Kid has a great heart and he’s going to do big things."

Why do you think Wade will be successful in the league?

"I think Wade would be an excellent fit in the NBA because of like I said before his competitiveness and his way to gel with guys on the floor. He has a really great IQ, which you can’t teach, can shoot the ball really well and his 6’10” wingspan separates him from a lot of guys in the league and will make him a great defensive presence and an excellent on-ball defender."

Related Story: 2016 NBA Draft profile - Vanderbilt's Wade Baldwin IV

What would you say to teams interested in drafting Wade?

"To any team that would consider drafting Wade I would say your going to get a guy that just wants to flat out WIN and COMPETE! He will do anything to help his team win whether if it’s on the defensive or offensive side of the floor. We learned to sacrifice for each other high school between Karl, Wade and I, all 1,500 plus scorers, and that’s what made us champions two years in a row. He will sacrifice and and do anything to bring a championship to any team."

Next: FanSided's 2016 NBA Mock Draft: The Bulls' pick at No. 14

A lot of signs point to Baldwin IV landing in Chicago on draft night this coming Thursday. With his best friend already heading for the Windy City, it would make sense for Baldwin to be on his way there, too.