January 30, 2021

By Fred Liggett
FredL@lstribune.net

The evening of Jan. 15, 2021 will be remembered a long time for Kansas City Mavericks rookie Luke Bafia.

That was the night he scored his first pro career goal and is just one reason why first year Mavericks head coach Tad O’ Had wanted him on the team. Baf, as he is called by his new teammates, showed on that Friday night in Utah why everyone feels Bafia’s future in hockey is so bright.

Baf comes to the Mavericks after completing his college career at Western Michigan University. Bafia’s favorite hockey memory so far occurred while in college when his team played a game inside the historical Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Before the arena was demolished Baf played in the Great Lakes Invite which is an all Michigan team hockey tournament. Bafia proudly admits his WMU Broncos won the tourney that season.

Baf hails from Parrish, Florida which is about 25 miles south of Tampa Bay. Back home rooting him on are his mother, father and two brothers. Bafia’s favorite pro team is the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Baf not only grew up near the home of the Lightning but playing in the team’s youth programs in the area.

Bafia first put on a pair of skates at just three years old. If not in pro hockey today Baf feels he would be pursuing an aviation career. Aviation served as Bafia’s major in college and he already has a private rating which means he can fly on his own. Baf’s favorite food is pizza and readily admits he is not a picky eater.

Bafia’s favorite sports movie is “Semi-pro,” the 2008 version. Following his playing days Baf hopes to be remembered as someone who worked hard and had fun playing the game. Due to his hometown being just 25 miles away from where the Super Bowl 55 game will be played Bafia knows a lot of football, not hockey, is being talked about back home this week.

Check out Baf and the rest of his teammates when the Mavericks host for the first time all season the Rapid City Rush on Tuesday, Feb. 2. The fun begins inside Cable Dahmer Arena when the puck drops at 7:05 p.m.

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