Athlete Spotlight - Elliot Bailey

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Elliot Bailey, from Horsham, West Sussex. I started playing basketball when I was around 9 years old for my local league team alongside football. At 16 I decided to take basketball more seriously and moved to Canterbury to join Kent Crusaders. 

What brought you to the National Basketball League in the first place?

At Under 13s I was asked to join my friend at a Worthing Thunder tryout which led to us both making the team. 

What was your first impression? How has that changed?

At first I was very nervous and really did not want to make a mistake - that first year I was a benchwarmer. Later on I became more confident and earned more playing time. When I joined Kent Crusaders we did not have a national league team in my first year, but the second year I played both u18s and NBL Division 4 where I got significant minutes in both. 

What was your first "bright spot" with your team?

The first bright spot was last year u18s where we played London United in the National Cup. We went into the game as underdogs due to being in the conference but quickly showed we were better and won by 30. 

What was your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge in NBL was when I first joined Worthing Thunder as I had to travel 45 minutes to practice twice a week and did not get many minutes. At 13 this was very frustrating, although it provided motivation for me in that next offseason. After the offseason I came back to practice and earned a starting spot. 

What changes have you noticed in yourself since joining the NBL?

Playing NBL Division 4 has helped me learn details in the game, as there are lots of experienced players who have played at high levels in the past. NBL Division 4 has helped me with my physicality and taught me small details and tricks in the game which matter a lot. 

What are you working on right now, what are your current goals?

My main goal is to go to America on a full scholarship. Right now I am focusing on developing my body so that I am more powerful and explosive. 

What is your favourite NBL memory?

My favourite memory for NBL was this season when we took a very shorthanded team to Lewisham and managed to win. I had pretty much a green light to shoot what I wanted, and thankfully I made a good percentage as well as some great performances from other players. 

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started in basketball? Always be aggressive, don’t hold anything back - make sure you get the most out of what you are doing. 

What do you like to do outside of basketball?

Watch Netflix!

Finally, who is your favourite British basketball player and why?

My favourite British player is Jeff Wadey. If you know, you know.

Wadey is a beast. He is a great teammate also. Shoutout to Jeff Wadey.