As a child growing up in basketball crazy Indiana, I had the pleasure of witnessing what would become folklore and that is Damon Bailey from Bedford North Lawrence.  It’s fitting that his high school team’s mascot or nickname is the BNL “Stars” because that’s exactly what Damon Bailey is a star.  As a matter of fact, Bobby Knight recruited him in 8th grade where Knight told his current team, "Damon Bailey is better than any guard we have right now. I don't mean potentially better; I mean better today."  Damon Bailey still holds the all-time career scoring record in Indiana 3,134 points averaging 28.4 points over 4 years.  This legend was named the USA Today high school player of the year among many other honors.  In 1990 he played before over 41,000 fans at the Hoosier Dome while winning the state championship.

Brayton Bailey is a current senior for said high school Bedford North Lawrence and the son of Damon.  One could only imagine the difficulty following in the footsteps of an icon but he has handled it with grace.  As a matter of fact, comparing ANY player with Damon is unjust and comparing Brayton just flat out unfair.  “It is what it is,” Brayton Bailey said. “I like how he built his legacy and my sisters did, and we can get to add on to that. It’s just great to have him come through this and then us to be able to follow him and be able to play on his court.”  Oh and something I failed to mention he is being coached by Damon who is an assistant coach on his high school team.  Damon also had coached his two daughters’ as the head varsity girl’s coach where they won a state title in 2014.  He’s a kid that plays hard for the most part every night. “As a parent, really as a coach, that’s all I ask.”

Brayton certainly holds his own on the basketball court just recently scored back-to-back 21-point games and was nominated by the Indy Star as a performer of the week.  Adding to the pressure, the court he plays his home games on is named “Damon Bailey Court”…yikes.  “Everybody holds me to a higher standard, but it’s not affected me at all. I just do what I do, and not think about what other people will think. I just know what’s right and what’s wrong.”  He only needs 12 more points to take the #2 spot on the school’s all-time scoring list behind dear old dad.  

It would be hard for anyone to follow in the footsteps of the shadow his father created but Brayton has impressed in creating his own identity and becoming his own man.  “I think he’s handled it exceptionally well,” Damon said. “All of my kids, having played basketball and been in the spotlight, have to face the scrutiny from time to time. They’ve all handled it well.”.  Brayton has interest from several school’s including St. Francis (NAIA) in Ft. Wayne and Division one Western Kentucky.  Having both Bailey’s #1 and #2 on the career high school scoring list is quite an accomplishment and Brayton should be praised for the way he has handled life in the shadows of his father.