Bailey Hatchett’s great success beyond the sand

Bailey Hatchett sets to make a play during the Beach Women’s Volleyball 2019 season. Photo Submitted by GSU Athletics

For Bailey Hatchett, being an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar is just as important as being a Panthers beach volleyball team member.

Eligibility for the award requires student-athletes to be at least a sophomore, have a minimum 3.2 GPA and be an active community member.

Before college, Hatchett’s academic background was outstanding. 

“Academics have always been very important to me, and I have always loved learning,” Hatchett said. “In high school, I made straight A’s every year, and I graduated top five of my class.”

Her mother, Marissa Hatchett, has been a huge role model and inspiration throughout her life. She was a two-time All-American at UCLA and played indoor and beach volleyball at the professional level.

“Not only is my mother an amazing volleyball player, but she is the epitome of strength, compassion and love,” Hatchett said. “She has taught [me] so many life lessons that have made me the woman I am today, and I will always be grateful and treasure our relationship.”

Maintaining a comfortable balance between training and classes can be extremely difficult and stressful for student-athletes. Fortunately, Hatchett has overcome this obstacle and gives her all both on the field and in the classroom.

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself in either area,” Hatchett said. “I have worked hard on becoming mentally strong and working through frustrations in all areas of my life.”

Aside from this, Hatchett also makes a conscious effort to keep her social life alive.

“I have also been trying to incorporate some things into my days where I can safely see my friends and interact with others,” Hatchett said.

Hatchett believes that being a student-athlete is more than just doing your best on the field. It also involves being an active member in the community and finding ways to give back.

Ever since her freshman year, she has found joy in volunteering and working with kids. She joined a volunteer program that connects the Georgia State Honors College and student-athletes with local Title 1 schools in Atlanta.

“Working with kids is my passion,” Hatchett said. “I want to express myself in many ways outside of volleyball. I love meeting new people and giving back because living here is about [the] community, and I want to get involved with mine.”

One thing that has stuck with and motivated Hatchett during her time at Georgia State is reaching out and building special bonds with other girls of color who play beach volleyball. 

“There is a very small number of us that play the sport, and this is something that I always noticed growing up,” Hatchett said. “I was often not only the one Black girl on my court but the only Black girl at an entire beach volleyball tournament. 

After a year in college, she understands her role and wants to be active in the fight for racial equality:

“Now that I am in a position where I can speak openly and honestly with these girls, I want to use my voice now more than ever to inspire them to push through and go for what they want,” Hatchett said.