Local teen qualifies for National Lacrosse Classic

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

For 16-year-old Kimora Bailey of McDonough, playing her favorite sport - lacrosse - is worth every struggle she encounters along the way.

“There are always difficult times, especially when trying to make it to the next level as an athlete,” said Bailey. “There was a specific time, which I will never forget, that my body was physically spent. The summer before my sophomore year, I was determined to become better. I went to back-to-back camps non-stop - University of Florida, UVA-wise camp, Duke camp, and University of Maryland’s Maximum Exposure camp. Going to back-to-back competitive camps had to be the most difficult experience and it took a toll on my body. I must admit that even though it was difficult, it definitely helped me in the long run.”

Union Grove High School student Kimora Bailey is shown above at a recent lacrosse game. Kimora has been invited to play on the National Elite 80 committed division team. Special photo

Bailey recently qualified to represent Georgia in the All-American National Lacrosse Classic, sponsored by the United States Specialty Sports Association and Cascade Maverik Lacrosse. The Union Grove High School junior is in her fifth year of playing lacrosse, and her third year on the school’s varsity lacrosse team.

Bailey said she was “ecstatic” to learn she had made it onto the All-American National team. When asked to describe that feeling, she harkened back to the words of a prominent football figure - Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

“The separation is in the preparation,” said Bailey, quoting Wilson. “What I enjoy most about lacrosse would be the competitive nature of the sport, the adrenalin rush every time I step on the field, and the friendships I gain when traveling to play my sport.”

Still, she said the most rewarding aspect of playing lacrosse centers on the time it allows her to spend with her family.

Kimora attempts a goal over an opponent at a Union Grove lacrosse game. Special photo

“My parents coach the Henry County’s U13 girls lacrosse team, and I am able to coach side-by-side with them to help grow lacrosse in Henry County,” said Bailey. “Also, traveling with my family for tournaments, lacrosse camps, or going to Wingate University to watch my sister’s lacrosse team play has really brought my family closer together.

Bailey noted that she also enjoys passing her passion for lacrosse to other young athletes

“For the love of the game, I train girls who want to learn the sport of lacrosse in Henry County,” she said. “I believe that lacrosse is growing rapidly, and the more people that know about it, the more people will want to play.”

In addition to the All-American Nationals team, Bailey has been invited to play on the National Elite 80 committed division team, which will compete in Delaware on July 12. She has also verbally committed to play lacrosse at Winthrop University, an NCAA Division I school in Rock Hill, S.C.

She said her experience on the UGHS team has played an integral part in helping her to hone her lacrosse skills.

“UGHS’s lacrosse program has helped me build my leadership skills off and on the field, which will definitely help me in the Nationals,” said Bailey.