SHS Player-a-Day Countdown: Darren Bailey

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(Photo by KYLE CAJERO) Sandpoint sophomore guard Darren Bailey draws contact against a Timberlake defender in a Dec. 6 game.

Believe it or not, the 4A IEL Regional Tournament is around the corner.

In preparation for the Bulldogs’ biggest games of the year, the Bee will highlight one (or two) Sandpoint boys basketball players every issue in the first-ever SHS Basketball Player-a-Day series.

The countdown continues with sophomore guard Darren Bailey.

Being a varsity player as an underclassman is no small task.

Although Darren Bailey has seen spot minutes during his sophomore season, he has played his way onto a full-time varsity role by showing promise an effective two-way player. Despite his size and youth, Bailey has made the most of his time on the floor as a fearless rebounder. Seemingly every time he gets minutes on the varsity level, Bailey can be found scrapping it out amongst the bigs for rebounds, which is promising to watch if you’re a Sandpoint fan.

Guards who rebound are invaluable in Engelson’s system, in which he places an emphasis on having all five players be active rebounders on both ends of the floor. If Bailey continues giving his usual effort on the glass, then he could become an integral part of future Sandpoint teams.

So with his skill set and his athleticism, Bailey’s value on Sandpoint’s team will become more and more apparent over time. His development as a player will be a storyline to track in the next few years; throw in fellow underclassmen Max Thielbahr and Stone Lee, and the Bulldogs’ next crop of talented guards could very well be growing up before our eyes.

Game of note: @ St. Maries

In Wade Engelson’s words: “Darren is an excellent outside shooter. He’s very good defender — he can jump out of the gym for his size — and a super high-IQ player. He has a very high ceiling; he just has to realize how good of a player he can be. If he continues to realize that and work on his game, then he’s going to be a really good player.”

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