Mount Airy’s Khaileel Dailey has been invited to participate in a basketball camp that caters to college coaches.
The Elite 80 camp gives scouts a chance to view some of the top area players in one location.
Dad Phillip Dailey said he is pleased his son was invited because an event like this will provide the kind of exposure Khaileel needs to showcase his abilities.
An explosive leaper, Dailey was the Bears’ leading rebounder last season — despite being just 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds — and is the leading returning scorer this season.
Still, it is hard for a 1A school to draw the attention of scouts.
College coaches rarely visit players unless they have seen them in summer AAU tournaments, Phillip Dailey pointed out.
Khaileel hasn’t been on any AAU teams, he said. These tournaments always run over Saturdays and Sundays, and the Dailey family believes in attending church on Sundays, he explained.
Not only that, he added, but there is a high cost associated with AAU play. There are fees to be part of the team, then the family has to shell out plenty more to attend games because of fuel, meals and admission costs.
In this format, the camp invites 80 athletes to take part. The players are divided into eight teams of 10 players.
Rather than cater just to the biggest Division I programs like Duke and Carolina, the camp draws scouts and coaches from smaller college programs like Division II and II and NAIA.
Dailey could take part in one of the events in the Southeast. Atlanta will host an Elite 80 camp on Sept. 21, and Raleigh is the site on Oct. 13.
Last season, Khaileel averaged right at 12 points a game, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field, according to Coach Levi Goins.
He led the Bears with 7.8 rebounds, but more impressive to Goins was that Dailey shot 48 percent despite having the second-most attempts on team. He wasn’t just running and gunning, but showed efficiency from the field and in drawing fouls, according to the coach.
After two years on varsity already, Dailey is expected to be a leader now as a junior.
“He has tons of athletic ability,” said Levi Goins, but just as important is his character and demeanor and how he pumps up his teammates. Over the summer, Dailey worked with a daycare group at Reeves Community Center, he added.
He is the son of Phillip and Joy Dailey. He has three siblings, brother Khalem and sisters Shidaisha and E-Lyasha.
The one hurdle for Dailey is coming up with the cost to attend. The $220 registration fee includes team jersey and two nights’ stay at a nearby hotel.
The Daileys will be looking to raise money for Khaileel before the camp dates.