Chicago native expected to be selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft

CHICAGO — The player who started his basketball journey in Chicago will likely be named Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

That’s guard Amari Bailey. He began his basketball career in the city, playing at prep level in California and playing one season at UCLA.

By many projections, he’s expected to be picked somewhere in the first half to midfield of the second round of the NBA Draft. Judging begins at 6:30 pm Central Time.

Bailey was born in New Orleans, but spent much of his youth in Chicago, playing basketball in the city’s elementary and middle schools. He appeared on one season of the Lifetime show Bringing Up Ballers with his mother Johanna Leia.

In high school, however, Bailey decided to attend Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles, where he played four seasons. His prep-level efforts earned him a ticket to the 2022 McDonald’s All-American Game on March 29, 2020 at Wintrust Arena.

After many colleges followed him, Bailey decided to stay in Los Angeles and attend UCLA, where he played for the Bruins for a year. In 30 games (28 of which were starts), his guard averaged 11.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

Bailey improved his points-per-game average to 16.6 points per game in the NCAA Tournament as UCLA advanced to the Suite 16. He had 19 points and five rebounds in his final college game against Gonzaga.

In May, Bailey returned to Chicago to participate in the NBA Draft Combine, which selects the best players drafted that year. Chicago native expected to be selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft

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