Berkeley High alumnus with a promising journalism vocation dies at 22

Brandon Bailey poses a month in advance of his graduation from Sacramento State on April 30, 2022. Credit score: Jamond Williams, Black Jewel Pictures

Brandon Bailey, a Berkeley Substantial alumnus who graduated from Sacramento State University in Could, died last weekend near Sacramento. He was 22.

Bailey died Sunday in a jet ski incident on Folsom Lake all through a loved ones outing, according to his mother, Tanisha Wilder. The Placer County Coroner’s business is nonetheless investigating the trigger of Bailey’s dying.

To close friends, household, and mentors, Bailey represented the very best of Berkeley, a younger male with a dazzling upcoming as a athletics journalist. Bailey, who mates called “B,” often spoke about his Berkeley roots.

“What he was performing now was just the heat-up for every little thing that I know was coming,” reported Matts Benson, who became pals with Bailey on the basketball court at Willard Center College in Berkeley.

A receiver of Berkeley High’s Scholar Athlete Tutorial Accomplishment Award in 2016, Bailey was a standout middle linebacker on the football workforce. In school, he channeled his passion for football into reporting, signing up for The Condition Hornet as a sportswriter in 2020.

He rose as a result of the ranks at The Hornet, finally landing his desire conquer: soccer. Bailey profiled star players and covered the Hornets’ increase to victory in the Big Sky Championship. In his closing semester, he started a podcast identified as “Consider Your Shot” with Jordan Parker, editor-in-chief of the Hornet, and co-edited the paper’s sporting activities portion.

On Might 20, Bailey grew to become the initially person in his relatives to graduate from school, going for walks across the stage at Sacramento Point out, a resource of enormous satisfaction for him and his household. He experienced just started off his first expert reporting career masking the San Francisco Giants.

Soon soon after graduating, Bailey posted a image of himself on Instagram, clad in a graduation cap and Berkeley sweatshirt, posing for a photo on Guy West Bridge in Sacramento. The caption examine, “Imma be a legend out of my town just give me some time 💫.”

His unexpected loss of life shook loved ones and pals, prompting an outpouring of adore for Bailey.

“All of this fills my heart, and I’m so grateful for the impact that my son, so younger, has produced on so many people. And it is also what is hurting me the most because I experience so cheated. He experienced so substantially additional to offer,” mentioned Wilder, keeping again tears.

Wilder described her son, who the relatives known as “BB,” as mature from a young age, a role design to all four of his siblings, such as his more mature brothers. He spoiled his youngest sister, displaying her how a youthful gentleman really should handle her, purchasing her offers on Valentine’s Day, “all these tiny title-brand purses,” and having her to get her nails completed, Wilder stated.

Increasing up, Bailey and his more mature brother, Marcé Stewart, were connected at the hip. “Everywhere I went, he went,” Stewart mentioned. When Stewart lost his way after higher faculty, it was Bailey who aided get his more mature brother again on track. “He was so truthful and it was brutal at periods,” Stewart said. Bailey would prod him, ‘What are you doing with your existence? You’re meant to be performing extra.’

A childhood buddy and higher school football teammate, Yusuf Bey, was struck by Bailey’s loss of life.

“Brandon, Lil B, if you’re listening to me, my boy,” explained Bey, addressing his friend Thursday early morning. “In Berkeley, we’re likely to overlook you, we’re heading to maintain your memory alive, we’re going to keep your legacy likely. I love you, brother.”

Parker wrote on Twitter: “The Condition Hornet household has dropped just one of its finest, and the ache and harm that I truly feel can under no circumstances be completely fixed. This spouse and children can never be whole once again due to the fact our brother Brandon was taken as well soon.”

Bailey’s mantra: ‘heart in excess of height’

The basketball team at Willard Center College. Bailey is on the left in the bottom row. Credit history: Matts Benson.

Standing at 5 feet 6 inches and 138 lbs . in substantial school, Bailey’s opponents on the subject and the court towered more than him. (Even at 5 many years old, Bailey was turned absent from the youth soccer league for a 12 months simply because of his compact stature, his mom remembers.) But his operate ethic and passion propelled him to athletic success, eventually earning him a starting off position on the football staff his senior calendar year, earning all-conference accolades.

“Brandon’s mantra was heart in excess of peak,” mentioned David Perry, who coached Bailey on the Berkeley Substantial football team his junior and senior yrs.

It was an tactic to sports that all of his coaches noticed in him, even as a younger child.

Bailey manufactured the basketball crew as a sixth-grader, Coach Amarú Moses claimed, irrespective of his sizing but “because of the volume of coronary heart and effort and hard work and the overall pleasure that he introduced to his teammates and to the match.”

As a mentor, “you seem for the tallest, the swiftest, the biggest, the strongest. And what I enjoy about Brandon is he defeat all individuals odds,” Perry mentioned.

In 2016, Bailey, a middle linebacker on the football team, was unanimously voted initially-crew all-league and earned Berkeley High’s Scholar Athlete Educational Accomplishment Award. His father, Clifton Bailey, was a continual presence at his son’s game titles, cheering enthusiastically from the sidelines.

Bey, his teammate, remembers a “legendary” interception that Bailey manufactured in a activity in opposition to rival Bishop O’Dowd. The group would go on to gain all-meeting in its most thriving year of the time.

Encouraged by former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Bailey was just one of the players who led the Berkeley Higher football group to kneel throughout the countrywide anthem to protest police brutality, a second documented by Vice News.

“We’re kneeling down to stand up for Black oppression and police brutality. And with us locking arms, it displays that we’re doing it as a group, and we’re united in what we’re undertaking,” Bailey, then a junior in superior faculty, mentioned in the video, conveying why he needed to kneel with his teammates.

Just after graduating higher university in 2017, Bailey gained a Large Hopes Scholarship just before matriculating to Sacramento Point out.

A budding sporting activities journalist

Brandon Bailey, April 2022. Credit history: Jamond Williams, Black Jewel Pictures

Bailey spent the summer season in advance of his freshman yr at Sacramento State on the Berkeley Higher soccer industry. Hoping to wander on to the workforce and perform for the Hornets, Bailey skilled with Coach Perry all summer time, executing drills and sharpening his recreation.

Although he did not wind up on the staff, Bailey uncovered a way to include the activity he liked into a occupation. He majored in journalism, signing up for the masthead at The Condition Hornet, and rapidly attained a popularity as 1 of the Hornet’s most committed writers.

Compliment Bailey, and he would turn it all around to be about you, reported Magaly Muñoz, controlling editor of Condition Hornet. “He would say, ‘I’m only as terrific as the persons close to me who I encompass myself with. I’m only as good as my editors.”

“We would say, ‘Brandon, you can stop getting humble for 5 minutes. Just take the praise, bro.’ And he would not.”

Immediately after graduating, Bailey stated his function at the newspaper manufactured him tumble in enjoy with journalism. According to his good friend, Bey, he envisioned a upcoming in which he would travel the planet, and his family members said he needed to turn out to be a sporting activities analyst.

Inside a number of months, he landed his first gig covering the San Francisco Giants for an on the web journal, 4. Athletics Media.

“Who would’ve understood this young dude from Berkeley, CA would make it this considerably,” Bailey posted on his Instagram just after graduation. “First-Generation university graduate with a B.A. in journalism. Supplying all the praise and glory to God for preserving me grounded and getting me by way of this journey.”

Bailey’s Celebration of Daily life will be held at 11 a.m. on July 12 at the Covenant Worship Centre at 2618 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley.

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