Summer Creek basketball has a new head coach and a fresh outlook on the new season. Coach James Bailey’s main focus is to build the character of this team. If he and his coaching staff can build the character of these boys, then the program will have success. A new moto has been set on the court: “FNPST” which stands for Fast n’ Physical Smart Together. Coach Bailey developed this with the hope his boys take it to heart each and every time they step out on the court as a team.
The Bulldogs recently competed in The Insperity Holiday Classic tournament at Kingwood High School. They performed well overall going 3-1 defeating Madison, Lamar, and Cy Fair and falling only to the eventual tournament winners Cy Woods. Despite the impressive performance at the tournament Coach Bailey said “We can still play better.” As he knows what his team is capable of accomplishing.
Summer Creek finished 3rd in district last season and fell early in the playoffs to Nederland 50-45. Although Coach Bailey wasn’t around last basketball season, his players briefly spoke about the season to him but he doesn’t want his team to dwell on last year and rather look ahead. He said that most of the conversations he has had with his team have been about looking ahead to the future, going forward, and being the pioneers for what they’re trying to do.
This year Summer Creek makes a leap from class 4A to 6A and enters a tough district which features the number one team in the region, Atascocita. “Top to bottom each team, regardless of what they’re standing is right now, is a very solid opponent,” Coach Bailey said. Still, he says that the realistic goal of the Summer Creek Bulldogs is to compete for a district championship.
At times there’s a standout on the team that just carries the majority of the load. For Summer Creek, Coach Bailey says that anyone can step up on any given day. “Our team is really composed of guys who can play multiple positions anywhere from point guard to power forward and most of those guys are interchangeable,” Coach Bailey stated. Two guys that are expected to step and lead the team into district and the season are Paul Thomas and Brian Mitchell.
Coach Bailey attended Willowridge High School in Fort Bend where he was a standout basketball player becoming the first athlete to play at a Division 1 school and even had his number retired. He helped lead the school to their first state title as an assistant coach after he graduated. Originally he signed at Fresno St. but eventually finished at Bradley University. He credits his coaching career to a combination of his experience playing high school, college, and professional basketball. He says that Ron Adams, a defensive specialist with the Golden State Warriors, is someone he looks up to. His college coach Stan Albeck, formerly the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, was a great offensive mind in Coach Bailey’s eyes.
Written by Mark M. Johnson