In a noteworthy display of loyalty, Amari Bailey, a promising rookie shooting guard for the Charlotte Hornets and a member of the 2023 Pac-12 All-Freshman Team during his brief stint with the UCLA Bruins, demonstrated his continued connection to his previous school.
The 6’5″ versatile player made an appearance at his alma mater’s football season opener, where the UCLA Bruins emerged triumphant with a 27-13 victory over Coastal Carolina. This occurrence highlights Bailey’s enduring attachment to the university he once represented on the basketball court.
The spotlight of the game’s proceedings on that Saturday was undoubtedly captured by Dante Moore, a talented 18-year-old freshman and a highly-regarded five-star recruit. Moore, making his debut in NCAA competition, notably outperformed junior starting quarterback Ethan Garbers. Moore showcased his skills by accumulating 143 passing yards and delivering two impressive touchdown throws, while also minimizing turnovers. One standout moment was his spectacular 62-yard pass completion to wide receiver J. Michael Sturdivant, who had transferred from Cal. On the other hand, Garbers recorded 121 passing yards and secured a solitary touchdown, but experienced two turnovers. This leads to questions about the significance of Moore’s performance under the guidance of head coach Chip Kelly. While Moore’s potential to eventually become a starter in his NCAA journey is evident, the uncertainty remains whether this transition will occur in the current season.
Amari Bailey chose a propitious occasion to revisit his college grounds and witness the football game. During his time as a Bruin, Bailey participated in 30 games, starting in 28 of them, during the 2022-23 season. His contributions were notable, with an average of 11.2 points per game, achieved through efficient shooting splits of .495/.389/.698. Additionally, he contributed 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Bailey’s excellence did not go unnoticed, as he earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and received recognition on the 2023 All-Pac-12 Tourney Team for his outstanding performance.
The convergence of Amari Bailey’s visit and Dante Moore’s breakout performance has sparked speculation and excitement among fans and analysts alike. As Bailey continues his journey with the Charlotte Hornets, his connection to UCLA remains a testament to the lasting impact of collegiate experiences on athletes’ lives.