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Player Spotlight – Grace Bailey-Brown

After a brief break, we’re back once again with another spotlight piece, taking the opportunity to ask a WEABL player what makes them tick, how they got into basketball, their goals for this season and beyond, and much more.

This week, we spoke with JMA’s Grace Bailey-Brown.

Name: Grace Bailey-Brown

Position: Guard

Team: John Madejski Academy

Tell us a little about yourself:

I was born in Bristol,  I’ve been playing basketball competitively for five years since I was 13 years old .

I’ve also played other sports like gymnastics, boxing and athletics.

How and where did you first get into basketball?

I first got into basketball in primary school in year five. Originally I was coached by former BBL & GB player Greg Streete, who spent time with the Bristol Flyers.

Can you a remember a moment when you decided basketball was something you wanted to play more seriously? What happened?

That was probably when I was in my last year of U16s for Bristol Flyers.

I just saw the opportunities and places that basketball could take me in the future and I wanted to carry on with the sport I loved.

What have been the biggest challenges of your basketball career so far?

I think the biggest challenge so far has been adjusting to everything going back to “normal” after COVID.

During that period, I hadn’t played any games and I’d only been training so coming back and adjusting to playing games back-to-back and training again has been a bit of a challenge.

Who is the toughest player you’ve faced?

The toughest player I’ve faced would have to be Natalie Charity, who used to play for Exeter Spartans and is now in the WEABL with Nottingham Wildcats.

She was difficult to play against because she was quick and clever with the moves she made, she always made the right moves at the right time.

Bailey-Brown (#14) providing support for her JMA team

What are your current goals for the season?

My current goals for this season are to be able to play and be beneficial on the court . On offence making baskets and on defence forcing stops and turnovers.

But the main goal is being a better player than I was last year.

Do you have any plans or goals for next season?

My plans for next season is to be a better all-round player, both on offence and defence .

My goal is to get recognition from American coaches and teams as well.

What are you currently working on to take your game to the next level?

I think that would have to be my confidence and my defence .

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started in basketball?

Just enjoy playing the sport I think!

Don’t put pressure on yourself, just be confident in your ability and enjoy playing.

Who is your favourite basketball player and why?

Kobe Bryant, because he had a strong mind-set. He also had an amazing, inspirational work ethic that has helped me though some of my basketball journey.

Main image credit – Todd Lindley