After watching him at the ABCD camp, college coaches kept referring to their packets looking for more information on number 115. Who was this 6-foot-7, 245-pound bruiser? No one knew. The coaches quickly found out and life for Elgin Bailey has been pretty crazy since then.
Bailey was an unknown prior to the Reebok all-star showcase and few from Louisiana really knew much about him. He didn't play as a sophomore at Glen Oaks High School. Louisiana high school rules state when a player transfers from one school to another, he must sit out a season. The youngster that came over from Hammond High was forced to watch from the sidelines.
"I knew that I had to keep working hard and that's all that I did. I worked and worked and worked," Bailey said.
When his big opportunity to play on the summer's biggest stage and a year removed from competitive games, the big man went to work some more. He showed off a knack for cleaning the glass, doing the dirty work in the post and scoring on the blocks. Already blessed with a big body and a blue collar attitude, coaches and observers wanted to know more about him.
It had to help that he was on the same team as the top high school player in the nation in Indiana's Greg Oden.
"I feel like learned about hard work and toughness when I was up there," Bailey said. "It was a great experience playing alongside a guy like Greg Oden. Everybody came to watch us."
Before the ABCD camp, Bailey was receiving introductory mail from LSU and Texas-Arlington. After the camp, Bailey said he began to hear from Kentucky, Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Oklahoma State and Arizona. Talk about an about face. A couple of national powers are some of his favorites.
"I like North Carolina, Arizona, UConn, Miami and UNLV," Bailey said. "They are all great programs. I like the way their campus life is."
"I just can't name them all because there are so many of them," Bailey said. "It's been pretty crazy."
It will only get crazier. UNLV, Auburn and Southern are the only schools that have made it out to see Bailey so far this fall. Mother Nature has kept a lot of other programs away. Bailey said he hopes to see them at his first Glen Oaks game.
At least this time they will know who he is.