Vincent Bailey is a 23 year old 201cm forward that will play his second professional season with Aix-Maurienne Savoie Basket (France-NM1) and recently completed his rookie season in Germany with Pro A club SC Rasta Vechta where he played 25 games averaging 13.4ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 53.8%, FT: 64.1%. He played at Lincoln Memorial (NCAA2) from 2011-2014 and as a senior averaged 21,6ppg and 9,8rpg. He won the SAC Tournament in 2011 and 2014. He talked to German Hoops about basketball.
Vinnie thanks for talking to German Hoops How was your summer after playing your rookie season in Germany? Did it go around faster than in 2014 after finishing college?
I’ve had a great summer with good improvements, put in a lot of work and looking forward to playing with my new team Aix Maurienne. Yes it did come much faster but I’m excited for this new journey God has me on.
Before we talk about your new adventure, let us look back at your rookie season in Germany with SC Rasta Vechta. The club had high expectations, but the team was unable to live up to them. What do you believe went wrong last season from a team stand point?
Yes the expectations were high, but also reasonable with the talent we had. I believe what went wrong was to many drastic decisions and changes made through out the season. Didn’t give the team enough time to come together with the players they brought in from the beginning.
Many pointed fingers at head coach Stephen Arigbabu. Do you feel that was fair? Was his reign on the team just not strong enough?
It was not Stephens fault. Everything was new, from the coaches to the players. It takes time to build chemistry and for allof us players to buy in to the system.
SC Rasta Vechta had many very talented players playing at the Pro A level. Why was it so difficult to find team chemistry?
Some players just aren’t meant to play together. We tried but it just didn’t seem to work out. There for they kept the players that they thought were the best fit for their organization. I wish the best for them.
You played 25 games averaging 13,4ppg, 6,0rpg and 1,6apg. At first look, these stats are solid, but considering your hot start, injury and finish, you probably wasn´t as pleased as you might have liked?
No I wasn’t. With this happening has made me even hungry for success. But it was a good beginning for my professional career and I thank God for the opportunity Rasta gave me. Everything happens for a reason the lord makes no mistakes. I thank God for my good health this year and my game has developed even more. I’m ready to help my team have a successful season here in France .The injury had nothing to do with my decline in stats, it was the changes of coaches and players throughout the season that began my decline. I’m just traveling this journey God has me on until I reach my destination.
You scored in double figures in 19 of your first 20 games as you were seemingly unstoppable and then scored only 19 points in the last five games. Did your injury hamper your play at the end of the season?
Yes and no. My injury was minor. I was not getting the minutes that Stephan was giving me after they changed coaches. Which really hurt my game, as well as the changes in offense and players. It was very frustrating for me.
You had many very good games for example against Wurzburg, Nurnberg, Cuxhaven or Paderborn as well as others, but what was your season highlight?
My season highlight was the game we beat Gissen when I did not play. We actually looked like a team that was together and not apart. It made me eager to come back from my injury and rejoin my teammates. But when I came back, my minutes were not the same and my role slowly decreased and we went on a losing streak.
You experienced very much as a rookie, but what do you feel was the most important thing that you learned last season as a rookie that will help you in the future in your basketball career?
The most important thing I learned from last season is that your team has to be on one accord (Unitied), and all on the same page to have a successful season. Even now in preseason I have a great feeling for the year, all of us are together and we are all hungry to win.
You played in many gyms in your career but where does the Rasta Dome rank in the best places that you have competed in?
Rasta Dome has one of the best atmospheres I’ve played in. I love the Rasta fans and they deserve a great season. Rasta is probably the 2nd best place I’ve competed in.
Last season you and American Amir Carraway were in the same boat coming in as rookies from the NCAA2. The only difference was that you had a great rookie season and he didn´t fair much in the teams plans. Despite all that how did you guys make each other better during the season on and off the court?
We helped each other stay mentally ready even though he didn’t get as much playing time on the team, I feel as though he was one of the best shooters on our team besides Chase Griffin which was our best shooter. Amir has a lot of talent but was not utilized enough. Whoever his next team is will receive a great player as well as a great person. His hungry to prove what he is capable of and he will be successful.
This season SC Rasta Vechta have signed high class guys as well as keeping American Chase Griffin. They really want to move up to the BBL again. Is there a better guy on the team than Griffin to lead the club in that direction?
Chase is a great player and person , I think he will be the key part of Rasta moving up to the BBL.
Now lets talk about your new adventure in France with Aix-Maurienne Savoie Basket (France-NM1). You will be playing in the third division France. What were the main reasons for coming to this team?
The league is very competitive, my role here is key from the beginning. The system is great for me, similar to my college offense. It’s a great situation for me to show my capabilities to the fullest and mainly help this team achieve their goals to have a successful season and Gods willing help move us back to Pro B.
Aix-Maurienne Savoie Basket (France-NM1) played for many years in the France Pro B and now moved down a level. Is their primary goal to move right back up?
Primary goal is to have a good year and move up either this year or next. Our team is well put together with all the right pieces to achieve some great goals.
You are living in Maurienne in a very mountainous area near the Italian border and very different to the lansscape in Vechta. What has been your experience living in France where I don´t think you will be hearing as much English as in Vechta.
France is a beautiful country and I stay in Aix les bains which has been great so far. It has been good. No I haven’t heard as much English as in Germany but I feel much better starting out preseason here in France than my preseason last year.
You have been practicing with the team. How would describe the level of play in comparison to the German pro A last season?
Not much of a difference if any. Just less imports for us, which is better in my opinion. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead of us.
You have mostly French players on the team, but with 36 year old Steffon Bradford a very experienced American that has played in six countries and will be playing his seventh season in France. How important was it having him around at the start of your new adventure?
Steffon is a great guy, and from the beginning I knew he was a real one and a true leader. I’m looking forward to getting as much knowledge from him as possible as we band together to lead the team to success lords willing.
Besides winning games, what is your goal with your own game in your second professional season?
Win a Championship.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
We will see how he will define himself. Michael Jordan will always be the greatest. Lebron still has year(s) left
What was the last movie that you saw?
Paid in full
Thanks Vinnie! All the best in France this season.