BC’s Reddick Learns To Stay On Even Keel
BRIDGEWATER – One day as a senior in high school, Ed Reddick challenged someone at his local recreation center in Virginia Beach to a game of one-on-one. With his friends watching, Reddick got out to a quick lead, getting to the basket just about whenever he wanted – but then, his opponent started talking trash.
His opponent that day was his father. He knew how to get into his son’s head.
“That’s all you got?” Eddie Reddick needled. “Your jump shot’s not any good?”
Sure enough, Ed started shooting jumpers – and missed enough of them that big Eddie came back and won.
It wasn’t the last time Ed, now a Bridgewater College sophomore who teammate Ronnie Thomas said reminds him off the court of a “sweet, soft, teddy bear,” let someone else get under his skin on the floor.
But, from all accounts, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound forward has figured out how to level his emotions this season, and it’s paying dividends. His 11.4 points per game is second on the Eagles – just a shade behind Thomas (12.6) – and he’s averaging a team-best 6.2 rebounds despite starting only three of the Eagles’ 16 games so far.
“The violent swings and them having a negative effect on you is what I think he’s done a really good job of managing this year versus last year,” said 41-year-old Eddie Reddick, who scored over 1,000 points while playing college ball at Navy (1988-91).
Eddie knows all this because he’s witnessed it and repeatedly asked his son to correct it. He’s been doing that for quite a while.
Starting when Ed was in middle school, Eddie privately coached his son. Eddie stressed fundamentals, but also post moves, which was his expertise at Navy.
They worked out together through high school, where Ed was a key player for the Kellam High School team that went 29-1 in Ed’s senior year, the only loss coming in the postseason. It was a remarkable turnaround from a team that had just four wins when Ed was a freshman.
But, Ed admitted, he sometimes let his stardom get to his head.
“There were times, especially senior year, when I got full of myself, when I felt like I knew better than he [my father] did,” Ed Reddick said. “I thought I was better than I was.”
That showed when his father schooled him in hoops that year. After trash-talking and then defeating his son, Eddie told him he would never play him again. He still hasn’t.
Eddie – as usual – was trying to teach his son a lesson.
“You needed to beat me. You had me down, and you allowed me to come back,” Eddie said he told his son.
“In not playing him again, the lesson was, you may never get that opportunity again. You can’t say, ‘I’ll get it the next time.’ There may not be a next time. So win that game. Do what you need to do to win that game, because you never know if you’re going to get it back.”
Ed is making his BC career productive so far.
As a freshman, he averaged 9.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, again while coming off the bench the majority of the time.
But still, Reddick sometimes let his surroundings affect his emotions.
“The big thing with Ed, he lost his head a lot last year,” Thomas said. “He gets a bad call, he’s walking halfway down the court. After the game, he’d be like, ‘I know, I know.’”
This year, however, Reddick has been mostly level-headed. He’s also put on 15 pounds of muscle.
Reddick isn’t a traditional scorer, but he’s an efficient one. He’s shooting 53.5 percent from the floor – the highest of any Eagle getting equal or more than his 23.2 minutes per game. He excels at scoring in transition, on offensive put-backs and on explosive moves around the basket.
“When he gets down there and they take away his ‘A’ move, Ed’s one of the few guys that’s got a ‘B’ and a ‘C’ move as well, because his footwork is so clean with his pivots and so forth,” BC coach Don Burgess said.
And if Burgess isn’t getting on Reddick to expand his game, then his father certainly will. Eddie said he speaks with his son before every game, scouting the opponent; and when it comes to game time, Ed says he frequently finds his father in the crowd during the game, shouting out his advice.
In fact, Eddie – like his son – said he sometimes struggles keeping his emotions in check.
“I’m a work in progress, quite frankly, and my wife helps me out quite a bit to let me know, ‘That’s enough,’” Eddie said.
Ed is learning to control himself, too.
“He’s much better at it this year,” Eddie said. “It’s growth, and it’s going through a year, and seeing the results of his actions last year, and seeing what he did [that] worked well, and what he did [that] didn’t work well.”