Wood's Bailey Greenberg has a basketball pedigree

Kathy May sees a lot of her older brother, Chip, in her niece Bailey Greenberg.

The quick first step of the Archbishop Wood junior reminds May, an assistant coach for the Vikings, the most of the way Chip Greenberg played basketball.

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Archbishop Wood junior Bailey Greenberg battles for a rebound during the Catholic League girls' basketball final.

"Her first step," May said. "[With] her long first step, she can go by anybody. He could go by anybody. He could really jump as well. They have the same calves - strong, jumper calves we call them. Her sister has them, too."

Greenberg shares more than calves, a deft move to the basket and prowess on the boards with her father. Her love of the game and success playing it also seems to be genetic.

Chip Greenberg played collegiately at La Salle. May played for Rhode Island, and another of Bailey's aunts, Kelly Greenberg, also played at La Salle. Both May and Kelly Greenberg have their jerseys retired at Wood.

"People tell me about my dad and my aunts, but I've never seen them play so I don't actually know," Greenberg said. "I'm curious. I wish I could see them play or watch video of them playing. That'd be cool."

Greenberg averages more than 14 points a game for the Vikings (22-4). A 5-foot-11 guard/forward, she can drive, post up, shoot the outside jumper, and is a terrific rebounder. Her versatility often enables her to take over a game. She has scored more than 20 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the same game three times this season.

"She's really hard to stop," interim head coach Mike McDonald said. "We've played a lot of really good teams throughout the year and I've seen a lot of the top players in the country and they've struggled to stop her. She's that good."

The family's basketball pedigree doesn't stop with Greenberg. Her younger sister, Nicki, is a freshman on the JV team. Her cousins - sophomore Shannon May and freshman Katie May - also play for Wood.

"It's kind of scary, because she is amazing at basketball," Nicki Greenberg said. "I want to be as good as her someday. I don't know if I'll ever be as tall and strong as her, though."

Greenberg has six Division I offers, including ones from Drexel and Villanova, but she plans to make more campus visits before committing anywhere.

"I used to talk about it with my dad when I was younger," Greenberg said of the prospect of playing Division I ball. "And I would be like, 'Do you think I could?' I thought it was really cool because he did it and I wanted to be like him."

Greenberg and the Vikings start their journey Saturday to get back to the PIAA Class AAA state final in Hershey, a game they lost last season. Wood faces Northeastern at Archbishop Ryan in the first round at 2:30 p.m.

"I think about it all the time," Greenberg said. "You get there and you don't want to be the team that loses. You made it all that way and you get second place. No one wants second place."

Every day, Greenberg walks into a gym where her aunts' names and jersey numbers hang on banners. She sees the accolades that adorn the walls.

It isn't news that greatness is expected. Winning is a Wood tradition. And it's one Greenberg intends on continuing.

After all, it's in her DNA.


rallysports@phillynews.com