B.J. Bailey’s game-high 17 points in Wednesday night’s Lehigh victory were even more special because of someone in the stands.
Bailey’s father, Bernard, watched him play for the first time in eight years, according to the Allentown Morning Call and The Express-Times.
Bailey's father spent time in prison for drug-related crimes and had not watched him play since before high school, Bailey told The Express-Times. Bailey was the 2009 Press Player of the Year at Holy Spirit High School.
In a Press of Atlantic City story last year, Bailey talked about how his mother, Crystal, died in 2006 from complications of pneumonia, and his sister, Nichelle, took care of the family afterward. When he graduated from Holy Spirit High School in 2009, Bailey moved in with the family of a former girlfriend, Sierra Baca.
Bailey told The Express-Times that he was nervous to have his father in the stands for the game against Navy, which Lehigh won 72-43.
To be able to hear (my dad) from the crowd was pretty cool," he told the paper. "It gave me chills. I kind of even thought I could hear my mom in my head talking to me. I was nervous at first but I had a good game and I’m sure he’s proud of me. He texted me (Tuesday) saying he was coming to the game and I was as happy as could be. I’m happy I played the way I did."