A decision has been made

A decision has been made
August 08
01:10 2019

Tyler Bailey is a rising ninth grader and was one of the best middle school basketball players in the state. For the last few months, he and his family have been mulling over where he will play his high school ball. After thinking about his choices, Bailey has made his decision.

Since Forsyth County is a school of choice county, coaches from any school would love to have a player of Bailey’s caliber on their team. Following intense research of all his choices, Bailey has decided upon Lincoln Academy.

“I picked Lincoln Academy just for a better challenge for me in basketball and academics,” said Bailey.  

Lincoln Academy is an institution focused on preparing young student-athletes for the next level of academic and athletic advancement, as stated on their website. The school was founded in 2017 and the students will take their classes at Winston-Salem Christian School. The charter school plays against some of the toughest basketball competition in the country, while having a 100% graduation rate. Since opening, their players have earned more than 50 Division I scholarships.

Bailey’s parents, Aaron and Sonya, feel their son made the right choice for where he will attend school.  They gave him the freedom to make his own decision as to where he will go.

“We believe that God orders Tyler’s steps and with that, he has to make some decisions for himself,” said Mr. Bailey. “When we went to the school, one of the biggest things that stuck out to us was the first class of the day will be learning the Bible. That was really important to us that he went somewhere that was going to be focused on the Lord and what He has for Tyler going forward in the future.”

Mrs. Bailey added, “We want him to focus on his foundation, because we know he loves the game of basketball; however, the foundation is where it stands. Giving Tyler the option to choose Lincoln Academy was a good choice.”

Tyler has honed his skills playing against some of the best teenagers in the country in the Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL). He feels that has better prepared him for what he will encounter with the Lions at Lincoln Academy.

“Playing in the EYBL has allowed me to show my game and what I have been working on,” he said. “I have been putting in a lot of hours on the court with my dad and it just shows my all-around game.”

Several players on the basketball team have already earned Division I scholarships and some have garnered attention from D I programs as well, so Bailey’s parents know the school will challenge him physically, mentally and socially.

Larry Davis, head basketball coach for Lincoln Academy, said Bailey is a highly skilled player for his age who has limitless potential. 

“I think he is very mature from the standpoint of he knows how to play the game,” said Davis. “I think Tyler and his parents understand the value of him practicing against high-level players every day and the high level of competition we play against.”

Davis continued, “He is a very hard worker and he just gets it, you know. He shoots and handles the ball well and I think he has to get bigger and stronger. We have a big emphasis on weight training in our program.”

Davis said the goal is for Bailey to gain some muscle and continue to work on the things that will make him a better player, like finishing at the rim and his aggressiveness. The expectation level for Bailey is high, because Davis knows the work ethic that Bailey has.

“Unless he falls down dead, he will play Division I basketball,” Davis said jokingly about Bailey’s future. “If he works as hard as I think he will and has the aptitude that I think he has, I think he will play at a high level.”

Over the past couple of years, Bailey’s parents have pushed him to be more aggressive on the court. They felt he sometimes differed too much. Instead, they have convinced him to take more chances on the court to show his full array of skills.

“His mother told him this phrase a while back that stuck with me: no risk, no reward,” said Mr. Bailey. “Tyler has always been a conservative basketball player, but his mom put that in him years ago and I think that’s what’s coming out now.”

Bailey puts a lot of pressure on himself. He said he knows he has doubters, which is why he now plays with a chip on his shoulder. Bailey says the doubt motivates him to strive to be the best player in the class of 2023.

“I want to be the top player and show people who I am,” Bailey said about his goals for this year. “I want to be better than everyone in all aspects of basketball, whether it’s rebound, passing, being a leader or scoring. Anything my team needs me to do, I can do it.”

In the classroom, Bailey is shooting to make all As on his report card. Academics are more important than the work he puts in on the court, he said.

Bailey’s parents wanted to give a special thanks to Lincoln Academy for offering this opportunity to their son. They feel Lincoln Academy will provide all the necessary training on and off the court to set Bailey up for success in any career he chooses.

“My biggest thing for him is to get better every day, on and off the court,” Mr. Bailey said. “When we met with the coach, he said he would have Ty think like a pro, act like a pro, and speak like a pro.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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