5-star signee Amari Bailey re-ups UCLA commitment ahead of McDonald's All-American game
Rest easy, Bruins. There will be no Daishen Nix redux. Amari Bailey is coming to Westwood.
The 5-star point guard from Sierra Canyon (Calif.) is the second-ranked prospect in the 2022 recruiting cycle. He’s a UCLA signee. He’s also a McDonald’s All-American and an early candidate to be a lottery selection in the 2023 NBA Draft, should he spend just one season at UCLA.
That kind of profile attracts options. And with the resources the NBA has poured into the G League of late, going professional straight out of high school, earning some serious coin, and proving yourself against other professionals looking for the same NBA spot you are has proven to be too much for some to turn down.
When he met with the media this week ahead of Tuesday night’s McDonald’s All-America game, Tracy Pierson of 247Sports’ Bruin Report Online asked Bailey if the point guard was considering any option that did not include spending the next year enrolled at UCLA.
“No, sir,” he said plainly.
His answer was simple.
— Jacob Polacheck (@JacobPolacheck) March 29, 2022
Bailey is a future star. Per the 247 Composite, he’s the No. 1 combo guard in the country and the No. 1 prospect from the state of California. At 6-foot-5, he has size and length to be a plus rebounder and defender and he’s already a three-level scorer with strong feel.
He can step in right away for the Bruins next season as a high-level contributor for a team that will once again have its sights set on a deep NCAA Tournament run. If a few key names decide on a return, UCLA will be even more dangerous a team.
Maybe his steadfast commitment was expected by some. Maybe it comes as a relief to others. Either way, the last time UCLA signed a 5-star guard things went awry at the last second.
Nix, a 5-star guard from the 2020 class and the first commitment for head coach Mick Cronin after he joined the UCLA program, signed with the Bruins in November of 2019, but months later elected to bypass college and go to the G-League.
He went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft, earned a Summer League spot with the Philadelphia 76ers, and then found his way to the Houston Rockets on a two-way deal. There are certainly G League success stories, to be fair. Nix’s current teammate on the Rockets, Jalen Green, is a G League Ignite alum who was the No. 2 player in his class, went the pro route, and then was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Bailey, however, will take the more conventional path. And UCLA is the better for it.
He scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds, and swiped two steals Tuesday night in just under 18 minutes for the West team in the McDonald’s All-America game. The East beat the West 105-81.