The second annual Brandon Bailey Basketball Shoot-out is more than just a three-on-three basketball tournament.
It's an event that extracts triumph from a tragedy experienced by the Bailey Family two years ago.
The basketball shoot-out will benefit the Brandon Bailey Memorial Scholarship, which honors Brandon Bailey, 19, who was killed in a fireworks accident July 5, 2012.
He was the salutatorian of his graduating class at Newcastle School in 2012, a student at Tarleton State University and a gifted athlete who loved many sports, including basketball.
The shoot-out was created by faculty and staff of Newcastle School and Woodson School, and the scholarship was created by family and friends of Brandon Bailey.
“Some of the Woodson administrators and coaches went in with Gordon Grubbs (event coordinator) and decided to start the tournament,” said Gayle Bailey, mother of Brandon Bailey. “This was their brainstorm.”
Brandon once said in a 2010 Fields of Faith speech, “Every day I'll make it the best I can.”
Grubbs said that without a doubt, Brandon did just that.
“Brandon was a special young man and wise beyond his years,” he said. “He loved outdoor activities, most all sports ,and could never turn down a competitive game of basketball. It is his love of basketball that led his teachers, friends and family of Newcastle School to initiate the Brandon Bailey Basketball Shoot-out — a friendly, but hard-fought tournament of 3-on-3 basketball.”
Grubbs said that last year's event was successful, and brought in more than 100 participants. Proceeds raised from the shoot-out, which will be held May 24 in the gyms of Newcastle School and Graham Junior High School, will directly benefit the Brandon Bailey Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“This scholarship means everything to us because, of course, it's in memory of our son,” said Gayle Bailey. “Brandon was so much a part of the academics and the sports. That is his legacy. We've been very blessed with the donations and support we've gotten. We just want to honor him and continue the education.”
Grubbs and Bailey said that the community has been very receptive to the shoot-out.
“Not only (Newcastle), but other communities have supported us,” Bailey said. “Throckmorton dedicated their championship game and football season to Brandon (in 2012). For a rival school to do that, it's just overwhelming for the family. Graham has been very gracious allowing us to use their gyms. There's so many people from Olney that have been supportive of us as a family.”
Funds raised from last year's event were used to give away six scholarships to graduating students from Newcastle, Graham, Throckmorton and Woodson. A four-year $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to one Newcastle student, and $500 scholarships will be awarded to one student from each area school.
Second Annual Brandon Bailey Basketball Shoot-out
Saturday, May 24
Newcastle and Graham Junior High School gyms
$50 team entry fee (three or four members per team)
$200 tournament sponsorships
Two divisions — boys and girls, coeds play in boys division
Six grade/age brackets:
Elementary — grades 5 and Below
Junior High — grades 6-8
High School — grades 9-12
College — ages 19-22
Young adults — ages 23-30
Older adults — ages 31+
Each Bracket Limited to a Total of 20 Boys/Girls Teams
Entry Deadline: May 21, 2014
All finals played at 6:30 p.m. in Newcastle Gym
Hamburger Supper available from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Newcastle Gym Foyer
All proceeds benefit Brandon Bailey Memorial Scholarship
Read more in Wednesday's Graham Leader.