The rigors of Vanderbilt University’s academics – and its demanding Southeastern Conference women’s basketball schedule – drew Bradwell Institute senior Bailey Gilmore’s attention.
Gilmore, a 6-foot-1 forward, signed with the Commodores on Wednesday afternoon, drawing praise from her current coach and even former Bradwell standouts.
And she got one of the loftiest accolades longtime Bradwell coach Faye Baker can deliver.
“I am so proud of her because Bailey is one of the hardest-working kids I’ve ever had come through the program,” Baker said. “That says a lot, because I’ve been through about 29 years’ worth. And she is one of the best as far as work ethic and honing her skills. Watching her progression over the last four years has been phenomenal.”
While playing in the highest echelon of college basketball had its appeal, so too did Vanderbilt’s reputation.
“It’s a prestigious academic school,” Gilmore said. “And I want to excel on the court and in the classroom as well. I’m so blessed to know that I have the opportunity to play in the SEC and play at a school like Vanderbilt.”
Former Bradwell star Charmaine Clark, who played at Miami and was the last Power 5 conference signee prior to Gilmore’s signing, sent a video congratulating the BI senior on her accomplishment.
“It’s just emotional for me,” Gilmore said. “This moment is very special. I’ve put in work behind closed doors in the morning when everyone is asleep. Before school, after school, I’m always in the gym wanting to get better. I’m glad that I have this opportunity.”
Gilmore averaged 8.3 points per game as a junior and a sophomore, and her rebounding averages have climbed from 2.5 per game as a freshman to 6.6 during her sophomore campaign and 7.4 last season.
And as getting a scholarship to Vanderbilt indicates, Gilmore is also well-rounded on and off the court. Her plans are to become an anesthesiologist after graduation.
“They are getting a phenomenal player, a phenomenal person,” Baker said. “Not only is she a great athlete, she is a great person. She is always going to give 110% in everything she does. That’s also in the classroom. We are talking about a kid who has never made a B in school — from K through now.”