Vincent Bailey (198-F-91, college: LMU) is a 29 year old 198cm forward from Port St Lucie, Florida playing his eighth professional season and first with Team FOG Naestved (Denmark-BasketLigaen). He has played in many countries including Germany, France, Belgium, Morocco, Luxemburg, Peru, Switzerland and Iceland. He spoke to germanhoops.com prior to playing in the Karls Cup in Rostock.
Vincent thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats on signing with Danish team Team FOG Naestved (Denmark-BasketLigaen). How blessed do you feel to have been able to keep playing the game you love despite COVID?
Thank you I really appreciate it. I’m grateful for each opportunity I receive to play the game I love for a living, despite COVID.
You were in Switzerland during COVID. How did you experience everything around the Pandemic? What was the most challenging thing that you had to encounter in these rough times?
It was bit overwhelming at times. Not being able to have access to physical training centers, having to quarantine for 10 days if a player contracted COVID and also the isolation of not being able to be as social as are use to were all challengers.
With all that you experienced off the court, how do you feel did COVID make you stronger as a man?
I could say it made me stronger, but mostly more aware that nothing is promised in this life and that we should cherish every day we have here on this earth and be thankful for those around us at all times.
For some reason I never interviewed you again since you played your second season in France. It has been a long time and you have been in countries like Belgium, Morocco, Luxemburg and Iceland. Has time flown and what have you enjoyed most about your basketball journey in the last 6 years?
What I’ve enjoyed most is the journey itself, I’ve learned a lot about myself and also the development of my game . I’ve experienced several countries and three continents, I went through ups and downs and came out a better person through all the trials and obstacles of this overseas lifestyle.
With team FOG Naestved you have joined an ambitious organization that is always in the playoffs but haven’t won a league title since 2005 and last won the cup in 2017. What were the main reasons for coming here?
The main reason was the opportunity to play near my Danish fiance while I play the game I love and help Team FOG work toward their goals as a club. This opportunity was not planned and it came out of nowhere as I was waiting on other opportunities to fall in place. It worked out for the best.
I can imagine you will have a big role and be a type of first or second scoring option. How excited are you to be able to show your abilities in a new country and team?
I’m very excited to play for Team FOG and coach Andy for whatever role he has for me. I like the type of basketball style he has put in front of us and the principals and standards he’s implementing on this team. Hopefully I can bring value to my teammates and the club, not only as a player but as person.
What kind of player is Vincent Bailey today in comparison to your rookie season in Vechta? How has your game grown over the last 7 years?
I’m more mobile and versatile than I was my rookie season. I’ve increased my ball handling , shooting and play making abilities at the 4position. Defensively I can switch out on any position 1-5 and guard at a good level. If you watch the film you can see the difference from year one up until now.
You are turning 30 in September. Are you in your prime now and what kind of player will Danish fans see in 2021-2022?
The Danish fans will see a more polished well balanced Vincent Bailey in this upcoming season. I want to put my teammates in great positions to score as I will continue to draw the defense in the midrange area and also making plays in transition and defensively causing matchup issues. We will take it a day at a time and trust our progression during the pre season.
Welcome back to Germany. You will be playing against ambitious pro A team Rostock and Eurocup team Hamburg Towers. How motivated are you to compete against the quality of these teams?
It’ll be a great opportunity to play against high quality competition in Germany. We are looking forward to the challenges ahead to help build our team for the up coming season.
I know you have a big chip on your shoulder. How do you handle the whole situation? You had great seasons in Germany and Belgium and after that I was always amazed that you didn’t get jobs at higher levels. How has that affected you mentally over the years?
You know, it’s been quite an up hill battle and I feel the same as you do. Mentally sometimes it has been draining but I am a resilient soul, I won’t fold. The valley is just as important as the mountain top.
You played with veteran shooting guard Chad Timberlake last season who has German BBL experience. What was it like playing with such a big time vet like him who probably also has a chip on his shoulder?
It was great playing with a Vet like Chad. I learned a lot from my brother and I appreciate him in all aspects of life.
You played a season in Iceland with Thor Thorl. What kind of an experience was the game and seeing the beauty of the land there?
I enjoyed playing at Thor with great teammates. For me it was a bit difficult with the darkness of Iceland and that’s why my time there was cut short and I took a deal back in Switzerland with BBC Monthey during December break.
With Boncourt in Switzerland you played with young German Robert Zinn. What memories do you have of his game? He took a very unusual route for a German player going to Switzerland.
Robby aka ‘Zin Master’ lol. He is a high IQ player with good shooting ability. I enjoyed playing with him at Boncourt.
You also played a season with Residence Walferdange (Luxembourg-Total League) playing 29 games averaging 21.2ppg, 7.2rpg, 1.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 69.6%. What kind of an experience was it dominating the league. Luxemburg is usually a stepping stone for unproven Americans to make the next step.
I feel like my entire career so far all I have been doing was proving myself. I just want to enjoy the game I love and bring value to any team I’m a part of. It’s a draining cycle to be doubted over and over again and prove people wrong. I enjoyed Luxembourg on and off the court, it’s where I met my fiance the first time and also met some great people who I’m still in contact with today.
You also got experience for top team Faith US De Rabat in Morocco. How do you remember your time there?
Morocco was a eye opener for me, and honestly one of the best experiences I had outside of basketball living. The country is warm with nice people who treat you like family. It was totally different than I expected. I also met one of my closest friends out there Dennis Mavin for the first time. He also played in Germany
You had a very good season with VOO Wolves Verviers-Pepinster (Belgium-Scooore League) averaging 13.2ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 52.6%, FT: 71.7%. I thought after that season you should have gotten a chance in the BBL in Germany. Did you ever have interest from German BBL teams?
Your ex teammate from Vechta Chase Griffin is still playing. Did you appreciate his personality or sniper qualities most?
Most definitely, chase is a great guy. I respect him and his leadership. His shooting ability is elite.
Dorian Pinson played at Lincoln Memorial the season after you left. Do you remember him coming in your senior season for a visit. He tragically passed away this year in a drowning accident.
Rest In Peace Dorian. I met Dorian while he was attending LMU. After he started his pro career we would train at LMU during the off season, pushing each other to be better. Dorian was a strong smart dedicated person who could inspire anyone to go after what they wanted in life. He definitely will be missed amongst his blood family and LMU family in Harrogate, TN.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Dennis Mavin, Stephan Bradford, Ahmad Smith, Jalen Nesbitt, Zach Lewis
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore with current or past heads?
MJ, Lebron , Kobe , Magic
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
My opinion is just to respect greatness. We all have a goat of each era.
Did you see the sequel to Coming To America? Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?
Hahah they should have definitely left it alone, but I respect the effort.
Thanks Vincent for the chat