Indiana is one of the country’s most famous basketball hotbeds, and Damon Bailey might be the perfect representative for Indiana basketball. Interestingly, Bailey’s careers as a player and coach both started at Bedford (Indiana) North Lawrence High School.
Famously recruited in the eighth grade by Indiana University hall-of-fame coach Bob Knight, Bailey was a high school standout at Bedford North Lawrence from 1987 to 1990. Bailey led his teams to three Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Final Fours, culminating with a state championship in 1990. The state final game was played in front of more than 41,000 at the Hoosier Dome, the highest attendance ever to watch a high school basketball game.
He finished his career with a state-record 3,134 points, and was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball, tabbed as a McDonald’s All-American and was the consensus National Player of the Year.
At Indiana, Bailey was a four-year starter under Knight, helping lead the team to the 1992 Final Four. Continuing his Indiana journey, he was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the 1994 NBA Draft.
In 2005, Bailey began his coaching career as the boys basketball coach at his alma mater, where he remained for two seasons.
Bailey later joined Bedford North Lawrence’s girls basketball coaching staff as an assistant before becoming its head coach in 2013 and leading the Stars to the IHSAA Class 4A state title. In 2014, he joined the women’s basketball coaching staff at Butler University as an assistant coach.