Bailey booms in Orlando
Shaneese Bailey returns to the basketball court Saturday as an integral member of the Orlando Boom roster.
The Orlando Boom team is affiliated with the Women’s Basketball Development Association and plays other teams from throughout Florida via the Eastern Conference, including the Jacksonville Lady Panthers. Bailey’s team travels to Jacksonville June 1 to face the Lady Panthers at Trinity Baptist College, 800 Hammond Blvd., Jacksonville. Tip-off is at 4:30 p.m.
Orlando’s season opens at home against Riviera Beach Heatwave Saturday at 2 p.m. at Lyman High School, 865 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd., Longwood.
Bailey, a Callahan native, graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in sports administration and is a certified personal trainer. She worked with an agent to potentially play basketball overseas, but recently left that contract.
“I was looking for a team,” Bailey said. “When I graduated, I had an agent, but things didn’t work out … and it put my professional career on hold for a while.”
While training, she connected with a woman who is now her teammate.
“She ended up calling her coach and I sent him my film and he wanted me for a tryout and it all worked out,” Bailey said.
She stays in Jacksonville during the week, training high school, college and professional athletes and others who want to get in shape at Bailey’s Health and Fitness and Boost Sports Performance. She then heads to Orlando on the weekend for practices and will travel to game locations as well. The season ends in July.
Bailey, 24, spent the past couple of years focusing on her own training and is in her personal best physical shape.
“I feel like (the time with the agent) was a waste of time, but I learned a lot and got my body healthy,” she said.
She’s still open to the possibility of playing overseas or for the WNBA one day, but for now she’s content to be on the court again.
“I think we’re a pretty good team. We’re still getting to know how each other plays,” she said, adding, “There’s not too much ball hogging going on, so everybody’s playing as a team.”
Bailey is the daughter of Ken Bailey and Callahan Elementary School physical education teacher Alma (James) Williamson and cousin to former NFL players Champ Bailey and Boss Bailey. Her athleticism was instilled in her at a young age and she’s always ready for a pickup game, spending most of her time in a gym or on a court. She’s eager to start her season.
“I’m just really excited, just ready to get back into the game, ready to play, ready to start my professional career,” she said.