One of the goals Skyline assistant basketball coach T.J. Perry challenged guard Bailee Usrey to reach was “make it to the banquet.”
The banquet refers to the Alabama Sports Writers Association annual state basketball awards banquet. To do so, players must be one of three finalist for the player of the year in their respective classifications.
Usrey met that requirement this year, as the three-time all-state performer was a finalist for Class 1A Girls Player of the Year award, which went to Decatur Heritage senior and Samford signee Katie Jones.
Unfortunately, the banquet was canceled because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, but Usrey still considers the goal met all the same.
“I’m upset about it being canceled,” said Usrey, who is committed to Shorter, “but I’m really thankful for (being a finalist). It’s something I worked for. Me and T.J. talked about getting to the banquet since I was in ninth grade.”
Usrey, who became Skyline’s all-time leading scorer after playing her eighth-grade season at Woodville, averaged 19 points and 5.9 rebounds this past season while helping the Vikings go 27-4. As a junior, Usrey averaged 21 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game while helping Skyline go 29-6 and finish as the Class 1A state runner-up.
Usrey said she doesn’t “think I could ask for much more” from her high school career.
“I had the best teammates and the best coaches and I think we accomplished a lot,” said Usrey, who was part of Skyline’s 105-25 record over the past four seasons. “I’m really going to miss them and my coaches.”