Bai­ley with busy bas­ket­ball sum­mer

The Saline Courier Weekend - - SPORTS - By Tony Le­na­han tle­na­[email protected]­ton­courier.com

Sa­line County im­port Mal­colm Bai­ley will have a busy sum­mer men­tor­ing youths, boys and girls of all ages, in bas­ket­ball in cen­tral Arkansas. Bai­ley will be host­ing a Beast Mode Bas­ket­ball Academy all sum­mer lo­cated in Ben­ton, Bryant and Lit­tle Rock, a Hoop Ses­sions ev­ery Satur­day (be­gin­ning June 1) at Hol­land Chapel Fam­ily Life Cen­ter in Ben­ton and a Sum­mer Bas­ket­ball Camp on Satur­day, June 15, also at Hol­land Chapel.

Orig­i­nally from Arkadelphi­a, Bai­ley moved to Hous­ton, Texas, be­fore com­ing to Sa­line County for good when his mother and younger brother moved to Ben­ton 10 years ago.

Since then, Bai­ley be­gan the Elite Bas­ket­ball League, a semi-pro league which he serves as pres­i­dent, six years ago, and also serves as pres­i­dent of the All-arkansas Red Bas­ket­ball Club, an AAU pro­gram for sec­ond­graders through 12th grade which he cur­rently coaches sev­enth and eighth grade.

Bai­ley also works at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bryant.

“Right now I work at the Bryant Boys & Girls Club,” Bai­ley said. “I’m the di­rec­tor over the teams, but I’ve been do­ing af­ter-school pro­grams for a long time, work­ing with at-risk youth for a long time. That’s ba­si­cally all I’ve done since I’ve been back, work­ing with at-risk youth.”

Grow­ing up, Bai­ley was on his way to great things be­fore a knee injury de­railed his ca­reer on the court.

“Bas­ket­ball is my first love,” he said. “When I was in eighth grade, I was dunk­ing the ball, came down wrong and dis­lo­cated my kneecap, so I never felt com­fort­able play­ing on it. I sat out for a year, re­con­structed my knee. I came back my 10th grade year and just played foot­ball. I ended up get­ting a schol­ar­ship at Henderson State and played foot­ball there.”

But, Bai­ley far from gave up on the game of bas­ket­ball as he earned the re­spect of his peers, and then some, for his bas­ket­ball knowl­edge.

“Even through­out the whole time, even in high school, I was train­ing play­ers at a young age,” Bai­ley said. “I was train­ing high­school level and col­lege level in high school. I was born to coach. Think­ing back it was pretty crazy, but they re­spected me and looked at me for it (tute­lage). I don’t see that now. I was in high school train­ing high school and col­lege boys. I think that shows a lot about my char­ac­ter and knowl­edge of the game, even at a young age. I think every­body kind of ex­pected me to flour­ish in bas­ket­ball be­cause of the skills I had be­fore I got hurt. So I had that re­spect level.”

As for his busy sum­mer, it begins now. Bai­ley’s

Beast Mode Bas­ket­ball Academy is at The Cen­ter at Bishop Park in Bryant, which be­gan this past Fri­day. It moves to Ben­ton at Hol­land Chapel on Mon­day at 7:30 p.m. with both ses­sions ex­pected to last about an hour and a half.

The academy lasts all sum­mer in Bryant on Fri­days at 7 p.m. and

Ben­ton (7:30 p.m.) on Mon­days un­til school starts and a month’s cost to at­tend both is $100 (eight to­tal ses­sions), $50 for ei­ther the Ben­ton or Bryant train­ing or a $15 one-ses­sion cost. Con­tact Bai­ley at (501) 2494063.

The academy, for all ages and gen­ders, will spe­cial­ize in ver­ti­cal jump, shoot­ing, ball han­dling, de­fense, bas­ket­ball IQ and strength and conditioni­ng.

Bai­ley will take the Beast Mode Academy to Lit­tle Rock at Huda Academy near the Uni­ver­sity of Arkansas - Lit­tle Rock on Tues­days and Wed­nes­days be­gin­ning at 6:30 p.m. each day with the monthly cost of just the Lit­tle Rock ses­sions at $100 as well, or the $15 one-ses­sion fee.

An­other weekly com­pe­ti­tion Bai­ley will pro­vide is Hoop Ses­sions, also held at Hol­land Chapel, be­gin­ning on to­day and will go through­out the sum­mer. Bai­ley de­scribes Hoop Ses­sions as “or­ga­nized pickup games.”

“I’ve got kids com­ing in from all over and play­ing against kids they’ve prob­a­bly never seen be­fore,” Bai­ley said. “Play­ing or­ga­nized pickup games. The kids go at noon and the adults start at 2 p.m.”

Cost is $50 per team and $5 per in­di­vid­ual.

Also com­ing to Hol­land Chapel in a cou­ple weeks is the Sum­mer Bas­ket­ball Camp, to be held on Satur­day, June 15, from noon - 4 p.m. The camp will fo­cus on the same as­pects as the Beast Mode Bas­ket­ball Academy does. Again, con­tact Bai­ley at (501) 249-4063 for more in­for­ma­tion or reg­is­tra­tion.

Bai­ley

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