CAMPTI — Manning the paint for Lakeview’s free-flowing style of play, Adrio Bailey will be a good fit for his next team.
The 6-foot-8 senior forward signed his National Letter of Intent to play for Arkansas Wednesday, becoming the fifth Gator to latch on with a college basketball program over past three years.
“It feels great,” Bailey said. “All of the hard work you really put into practice, I self-motivated myself to come in every day. When I put that pen to the paper, I finally realized that all of my hard work finally paid off.”
Bailey, known for his ability to protect the paint and his rebounding, was one of the top small forwards in the nation — ranked No. 50 in the 2016 class, according to Rivals. Last season, he averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds four assists, three steals and 2.3 blocks per game as Lakeview returned to the LHSAA Class 2A championship game.
Despite losing his mother, Claretta, in February 2014, Bailey continued to push forward and play the game he loves with a strong support system behind him.
“When I came into this situation, I talked to a lot of people in the community and they said that this is more than a coaching job,” Lakeview coach Brian Williams said. “You have a lot of talent, but kids that have had a lot of setbacks in life. Adrio was one of those kids that had a major setback when I came into the program. He told me the first day, ‘I’m going to make it,’ and I said, ‘That’s why I’m here, to help you make it. I’m not here to stop you from making it.'”
This season, Bailey will be called upon to be more of a leader as one of the Gators seniors — a role that he is ready to embrace.
“By me being able to start as a freshman, I’ve had some excellent leaders over the past few years,” Bailey said. “They guided me down the right path to become the leader I am today. I feel like by me going to those big game and those big moments, it makes me drive for more.”
Receiving 14 offers from schools such as Louisiana Tech, Texas Tech and Murray State, Arkansas turned out to be the right choice as Arkansas coach Mike Anderson spoke highly of him.
“Adrio is an explosive player with tremendous athletic ability and has that toughness we are looking for,” said Anderson to ArkansasRazorbacks.com’s David Beall. “His length, ability to score, defend, run the floor and attack the basket make him an exciting play maker that fits what we do in the #Fastest40 Minutes of basketball. Adrio’s character, incredible instincts for the game and passion for winning make him perfect for our program. We couldn’t be happier to have this exceptional talent join the Razorback family.”
As for the opportunity to face off in the future against his former teammate, NSU freshman Malik Metoyer, Bailey mentioned that he cannot wait for that.
“Oh yeah,” Bailey laughed. “We’re already talking smack towards each other.”
Lakeview opens its season Nov. 19.