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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Damon Bailey Indiana's High School Legend

Like many high school basketball stars before him, Damon Bailey is a Basketball Legend; at least in Indiana. Bob Knight once called him a “hot prospect” when Bailey was in the eight grade. Bailey won four consecutive first team all-state selections in high school, which spread his fame in the nation’s basketball hotbed, Indiana. When was the last time that anyone ever heard of a high school team drawing 41,000 fans to witness a high school state basketball final? It was the largest crowd ever to attend a high school basketball game. Of course Bailey brought Bedford North Lawrence High School back with a comeback victory scoring his team’s final 11 points. He finished his career as the state’s all-time leading scorer with 3,134 points. Bailey captured the title of Indiana Mr. Basketball during his senior year.

Bob Knight followed up on his declaration of Bailey as a “hot prospect”, by recruiting him to play for Indiana, where he was a four year starter, finishing sixth on the Indiana scoring list with 1,741 points. The accolades continued with Bailey winning third team All-America, first team All- Big Ten award and he led IU to a Final Four appearance in 1992.

Like many players before him, Bailey though a legend, was not a good pro, after being picked as the 44th pick in the NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers, he was eventually cut by the Pacers. He played for a few years in the Continental Basketball Association before coaching at his alma mater, Bedford North Lawrence High School for two seasons. He resigned this year , having co- founded Hawkins -Bailey Warehouse in Bedford.