Ever since she hoisted the PIAA state championship trophy at the Giant Center, Bailey Greenberg has had a lot going on.
The Archbishop Wood senior and her teammates had a few TV spots, a parade in their honor, just designed their state title rings and Greenberg had a few more days off after getting her wisdom teeth out. Saturday, she added one more thing to a whirlwind few weeks when she was named the Pennsylvania Sports Writers Class AAA girls’ basketball player of the year.
Greenberg was one of two Catholic League girls, Neumann-Goretti’s Alisha Kebbe in Class AA the other, to be named the state’s top player. It’s an honor not lost on the Drexel-bound Greenberg.
“It’s really cool,” Greenberg said Sunday at the 29th Annual Labor Classic all-star game. “(Cumberland Valley senior) Kelly Jekot (the Class AAAA player of the year), she’s a really good friend of mine, she played amazing and deserves it. It’s cool that we got to get it together.”
After Wood fell to 4-6 on Jan. 8, the Vikings flipped a switch and went on an incredible roll the rest of the way to the state title. The team didn’t lose another game all season, finishing on a 21-game winning streak as it captured a Philadelphia Catholic League title at the Palestra, a District 12 title then the elusive state championship.
Greenberg was masterful in her final high school season, averaging 14 points per game and close to nine rebounds per contest as her will to win consumed the team. The forward scored her 1,000th career point early in the season but was just as influential to the team’s success with her rebounding and defense.
At 5-foot-11 and capable of jumping two or three times in rapid succession, Greenberg could clean house on the glass and she isn’t afraid to drive right into the teeth of a defense to try and score.
Aside from going out a champion, Greenberg turned in a double-double in her last game, making sure there was no doubt she was getting the state title she had missed out on the last two years.
“It just keeps coming,” Greenberg said. “The win was great and all these nice honors are just as good.
“If we would have lost the (state title) game, it would be a totally different feeling right now but because we won, whenever I see any of the girls, all those long hours, summers, five months, we know it all was worth it.”
Greenberg said the enormity of the team’s run and accomplishments have sunk in, but will also be something she never forgets.
“We’ve been getting out of school a lot,” Greenberg said. “We just designed our rings. All the stuff that comes along with winning is really cool.”
While she’s enjoying the victory lap of sorts, Greenberg also knows it’s about time to get back to work. If she wants to come in and contribute right away at Drexel, her summer will have to be focused on improvement across the board.
Greenberg listed fitness, foul shooting, outside shooting and especially getting stronger as priorities on an admittedly “pretty long list.” The entire state saw what a locked-in Bailey Greenberg could do this winter, so it won’t be a surprise if she’s in the Dragons’ rotation at some point next season.
“I really have to go and get into everything,” Greenberg said. “I want to be able to play meaningful minutes and give anything I can do to help the team. Hopefully I can stick with all the other girls, it might be a little hard at first.”