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In memoriam: Brandon Armani Bailey

May 31, 2023

In memoriam

Brandon Armani Bailey served on the State Hornet staff for four semesters, where he flourished as a reporter in the sports section. As a former Berkeley High School football star, Brandon realized he wanted to keep his greatest passion close to him in his life ambitions, as he decided to pursue a career in sports journalism. While on the football beat for The State Hornet, Brandon flourished as a curious and evoking sports reporter, finding his niche covering the Sac State football team for the 2022 season.

After his stellar coverage as the Hornet football beat writer in the fall of 2021, Brandon earned the Above the Fold Award, one of The State Hornet’s most prestigious honors that recognizes the publication’s best staffer for a given semester.

While Brandon accomplished so much in such a short span of time, he was so much more than just his greatest achievements. He was so much more than just a football player, a State Hornet reporter, and a sports journalist; Brandon was a loving and kind human being — with the warmest soul you’ll ever meet. More than anything else, Brandon was a son, a brother, a cousin, and a friend who touched the lives of so many. Brandon worked endlessly, setting a standard everyone in The State Hornet newsroom aspired to reach.

His approach to life and, more importantly, his unwavering commitment to helping anyone and everyone makes Brandon so memorable.

Brandon was the most gracious person you’d ever meet. It did not matter how you acted or what your personality was like; Brandon always found a way to bring a room full of people together and make them smile.

Nearly a year since the passing of our friend, a day has yet to go by where we all don’t miss him.

- Jordan Latimore

State Hornet Staff Personal Statements

Dylan McNeill, Sports Editor:

Every time I talk about Brandon, I describe him as the epitome of cool, never flustered. His belief in me could raise my confidence; if Brandon said I got it, then I got it. Despite Brandon’s ability to make everything seem smooth, he treated everyone with respect, making me aspire to be that type of person.

I was so proud of Brandon for the start of his professional career, and he made it without handouts from anyone. Brandon set his sights and hit his target. I just wish he had more time to enjoy it all.

Dominique Williams, Managing Editor:

A line that stuck out to me when hearing Brandon’s family and friends talk about him is that he accomplished more in his 22 years than most people in a full 60, 70 or 80 years. I can’t think of anything that is either more true or helps heal my heart more after such a tremendous loss.

In journalism, we always say, “the job’s not finished,” but Brandon surpassed what this world would have offered him, and it helps to know that he can rest fully because he did it. He finished his job.

I don’t take the phrase “do it for B” lightly. He would have moved mountains, given the chance. I will spend the rest of my life hoping to be half the journalist and a quarter of the person he was.

Jack Freeman, Sports Editor:

Brandon was and continues to be one of the most impactful people I’ve ever met in my life. From the first time I talked to him to the last, there was always one thing that stuck out to me — his kindness.

He instilled a confidence that I never had while also teaching me the importance of humility. That’s who he was, a kind soul who wanted the best for everyone.
I can only hope to make him proud, to become the person he saw in me. It’s the only way to repay the debt I owe him.

Lead

Tony Rodriguez, Editor-in-chief:

When I first met Brandon, I was beginning my path as a journalist. We were both sports staffers at The State Hornet, and I remember watching him cover the Sac State football team with ease and expertise. Football was second nature to him, and it showed in his reporting.

Brandon was a courageous reporter and always seemed so composed and confident. I looked up to him for these reasons and admired his ability to make his hard work look effortless.

It was devastating for our newsroom when he passed away. Every day we wish Brandon was still here, so we're doing our best to honor his legacy and make him proud.

I am forever grateful for the kindness and friendship he showed. We miss Brandon.

Jordan Latimore, Managing Editor:

I remember the day I met Brandon like it was yesterday. We both were on assignment for one of Sac State’s first track and field meets after COVID-19 shut the world down. After only talking on Zoom from our virtual classes, Brandon and I finally got a chance to meet up in person. Though I had just met him that day, it felt like I had known Brandon forever. He had such an inviting and welcoming personality; we were brothers from day one.

On top of his unwavering kindness, what I most admired about Brandon was his curiosity. Brandon wanted to learn as much as he could to be the best sports journalist he could be. Safe to say, Brandon achieved that goal.

Without question, Brandon had the hardest work ethic of any sports journalist I have ever known. As his fellow co-sports editor, having the pleasure of watching Brandon put so much time not only into his own craft but also spending countless hours helping staffers produce stories was truly inspiring. Brandon, and the memories I have with him, will last with me forever. I will try my best to honor his legacy to the highest level I can. Love you, Brandon, miss you with all of my heart brotha.

John Cabales, former Sports Editor:

When I met Brandon, it seemed like we had always been friends. I was unsure if I could do a good job as the sports editor, but he always shut that down and let me know I could be great.

That was the thing about Brandon; he had the utmost belief in himself and all of us. Nobody could tell him we didn't have the best sports section in the world.

My best memories in college involved Brandon. Whether it was up in the press box on Sac State football game days or roasting Jordan and his 49er fandom, the three of us together meant one thing only: jokes, with trouble around the corner.

When Jordan broke the news to me, I didn't believe it. I don't think I felt it until his funeral. Someone we talked to every day was gone just like that. We had just walked the stage together and then a few months later his life was cut short.

Brandon's dream of being the best sports reporter ever did not die with him, and it lives on within us. He told us we could be the best every day, so now we have no choice but to do it for B.

Friends and Family Photo Gallery

To learn more about the amazing life of Brandon Bailey, please visit The Brandon Bailey Foundation. His organization offers community-based services that include the development of young entrepreneurs, journalists, up-and-coming athletes, mentorships, summer camps, community support and so much more in his honor.

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About the Writers
Photo of Jordan Latimore
Jordan Latimore, managing editor
(he/him)
Jordan Latimore joined the State Hornet in the spring of 2019 as a staff writer and is now a managing editor after previously serving as a staffer and editor for the sports section for six semesters. Before joining The State Hornet he wrote for his school paper, The Bruin Voice, where he had a sports column. Jordan is majoring in journalism and aspires to cover professional sports in the future.








Photo of Chris Woodard
Chris Woodard, Managing Editor
(he/him)
Chris Woodard joined The State Hornet in 2022 as a third-year transfer student. He previously worked as the editor-in-chief of Cosumnes River College’s publication, The Connection. He is a Sacramento native and hopes to cover arts & entertainment after graduating in the spring of 2024.

 

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  • Tanisha W.May 31, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    You all are so amazing! I don’t know you all personally but I have so much love for each and everyone of you! Thank you for loving Brandon and continuing to keep his legacy alive! This was superb! So so touching all of your individual stories. I know Brandon is smiling down on all of you proud. You’re weren’t just his friends or colleague, you were also his family!

    Thank you for this!

    B’s Mom

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