Coach Rick’s All State Sixth Man Award
6’5 Christian Bailey (Greensboro Day School)
There’s an old saying, “When you face difficult times, know that challenges are not sent to destroy you, they’re sent to promote, increase and strengthen you.” When I read that quote, 6’5 senior Christian Bailey comes to mind. I’ve known Christian personally for many years. He lived down the street and was my neighbor. His story started with much promise as a young player in middle school and his first two years in high school at Statesville Christian.
Back in 2016 we wrote the following in our Stars of Tomorrow segment. “As an eight-grader playing varsity for Statesville Christian against Carmel Christian. It was hard to believe how mature he was. He is a physically gifted player who plays the same on both ends of the court. We have always been impressed with his “team first” approach and unselfish play. In addition, he doesn’t have to have the ball in his hands to make a different. Christian plays with a lot of poise and more like a seasoned veteran. More importantly, Christian constantly demonstrated excellent leadership abilities, especially giving encouragement to his teammates.”
Fast forward to his junior season. Christian transferred to Greensboro Day with hope, optimism and excitement. We’re talking about a young prospect that was oozing with upside and potential playing for one of the top teams and coaches in the state. Unfortunately, Christian encountered one injury after another during his junior and senior season. He went from a player with tremendous promise to a player that was sidelined with injuries and unable to play. That being said, the same character traits we watched intensely at Statesville Christian carried over to Greensboro Day. For Christian Bailey, it was more than just basketball. He was a first-class person on and off the court. He was a model student athlete and was the team’s biggest cheerleader while being injured and unable to play. In speaking with coach Freddy Johnson several times, he couldn’t help talk enough about the positive attitude and vocal leadership Christian brought to the team. Not once did Christian feel sorry for himself, but gave encouraging words to teammates throughout the course of the season.
Midway through his the season, Christian was able to return to the lineup. Coach Freddy Johnson stated, “Christian Bailey was a vital part of the 2019-20 Bengals team. He served as team captain, averaging 6’4 PPG, shooting 55% from the floor and 46% from the 3-point line. He also averaged five rebounds per game. All this after recovering from an injury in the early part of the season. He brought depth and leadership to the team. You saw a noticeable difference in in GDS’s play after Christian’s returned from his injury. He truly was the glue that kept the team together throughout the season. He was named PTAC All-Conferencing and played in the NCISAA All-Star game.”
For Christian Bailey, we liked him as a player, but more importantly we were impressed with him as a person. He had leadership qualities as a young freshman at Statesville Christian and these character traits carried over to his senior year at Greensboro Day. When Christian entered the lineup, he brought effort, energy and enthusiasm to each possession. This was vintage Christian Bailey and is our Phenom Hoops Recipient of the All State Sixth Man Award. Yes, Christian went through difficult times during his injuries, but it strengthened him even more as a person, teammate and human being. He’s a special young man!