Kamau Bailey is a basketball lifer.
Bailey was a high school hoops star in Denver, Colo. before going on to play at NYU. After graduation, he worked for the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, and San Antonio Spurs in various capacities.
In recent years, he has directed the Philadelphia 76ers summer camp in Princeton and started
a player development
This winter, Bailey will be looking to impart his vast basketball knowledge to a new group of students as he takes the helm of the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball program.
With a roster comprised entirely of freshmen and sophomores, Bailey is starting from square one as he succeeds Mika Ryan, who led the Panthers to an 8-14 record last winter and is now coaching the WW/P-S girls’ squad.
“One of the things I have been working on with the girls is teaching them the fundamentals,” said Bailey.
“I am teaching them to play the game; it is basketball 101.”
That same approach paid dividends for Bailey last winter as he coached the PDS 6th/7th grade squad.
“We had a very successful middle school team,” said Bailey. “We went undefeated.”
In Bailey’s view, his current charges are exhibiting a similar learning curve
“We are starting from scratch and they have already made a lot of progress,” said Bailey, whose team opens the season by hosting Villa Victoria Academy on December 10.
“Freshman Shayla Stevenson is a 5’7 point guard. She can shoot and dribbles the ball well. She has great court awareness. Devika Kumar and Helen Healey are returning players and they give us some help in the paint.”
While Bailey is taking a serious approach as he passes on the lessons of a lifetime, he hasn’t lost sight of the essence of hoops.
“Basketball is a fun sport and sometimes we get away from that and it becomes too serious,” said Bailey.
“We will be doing some running and gunning, that is the style I like. They need to keep working hard and stay focused.”