Bailey follows brother’s footsteps to West Coast Conference

August 14, 2018

Jeremiah Bailey basketball

Jeremiah Bailey

Jeremiah Bailey of Fairbanks grew up idolizing his older brother and dreamed of one day following in his footsteps.

He won’t play at the same college, but he will play in the same conference.

Bailey, 19, signed with the University of the Pacific and will play in the West Coast Conference. His brother, Kyle, was an All-West Coast performer for Santa Clara from 2002 to 2005 before embarking on a professional career overseas.

“He has always given me advice about basketball and this conference,” Bailey told me. “This summer (the conversation) was more about being a great teammate since that is taken so lightly and being able to communicate at all times.”

Bailey, of Monroe Catholic High fame, will join a Pacific squad after just one season at Pima Community College in Arizona.

But what a freshman season it was as he helped the Aztecs win 31 games and reach the D2 title game in the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament. He collected 13 points and eight rebounds in the national championship game and was named to the NJCAA All-Tournament team.

In 34 games, he averaged 11.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

“It was a blessing to begin my career at Pima Community College,” he said. “It set me up to be recognized.”

The 6-foot-6 forward will play at Pacific for former NBA player Damon Stoudamire, who is beginning his second season as bench boss.

“I am thankful to the coaching staff of Pacific to have a chance to be able to play for the program,” Bailey said. “It’s been a big dream of mine to play at this level. It happened very fast and straight to the point. They pointed out things that I needed to work on to achieve a higher ceiling as a person and a player.”

Bailey said he has gobbled up the feedback like Thanksgiving dinner.

“The coaching staff was great and had so much to teach me that I couldn’t turn down a place that was willing to teach so much,” he said. “It will be a lot to take in but I’m here for the grind and process that I must go through.”