Bailey makes plays for Bulldogs

Published 8:00 pm Saturday, February 3, 2018

Leontre Bailey was voted Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 30 points against Grassfield High School.

King’s Fork High School’s boys’ basketball team has been having a successful season thus far, and Bailey has been a big reason for that. He has been an integral piece to a talented team. Over the course of a year, Bailey has evolved his game from being mostly a distributor to an all-around scoring threat.

When an athlete has a career game, they can normally feel early on in the game that good things are going to happen. Bailey started the game against Grassfield immediately looking to attack on the first couple of possessions. He got to the free throw line several times and finished the first quarter with 11 points. From there, he wanted to continue to set the tone and kept attacking and finished with 30 points.

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Prior to that game, Bailey had a talk with his coach and felt like he needed to step his game up more.

“I had a long talk with my coach about the way I had been playing,” he said. “I just needed to step my game up. My mindset was just to keep attacking and that no one could stop me. As the game went on, I knew I could go for a big game on the scoreboard.”

Bailey has big goals this season. He wants to become an all-district and all-region player while also helping his team to a state title. In the midst of those goals, he wants to make sure he built a relationship with his new coach. During the summer, the junior did many things to try to improve his game for this season. He worked on getting stronger, finishing around the basket and becoming a more fluid ball handler. Bailey is an experienced player, having had varsity experience since his freshman season.

“Playing since a freshman has gotten me used to the different challenges and different teams we face,” he said. “It showed me what was to come. Now, I am used to big challenges and matchups. I’ve made sure that I changed my mentality, becoming an all-around player.”

God and family are the biggest motivators for Bailey every time he steps on the floor, but Bailey also likes to motivate himself. Sometimes he may not always be feeling it, but he finds a way to keep pushing. His father, Darius Bailey, is an assistant coach for the King’s Fork girls’ basketball team and has always been a big inspiration to him. He is constantly giving him advice, letting him know to be himself while also having fun on the court and not taking any moment for granted. Along with his father, his uncle and teammate/cousin Keontae Boyette also inspire Bailey.

“I have conversations with those three not only about basketball but life as well,” Bailey said. “Just by having those talks, I know I have them behind me.”

When Bailey is away from basketball, he is watching on TV at home, or he may go hang with friends.

Bailey and the Bulldogs will be in action again at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the road against Western Branch High School.