basketball Edit

Coveted center Charles Bediako closing in on a decision

Charles Bediako
Charles Bediako (Rivals.com)

Charles Bediako came in at No. 29 in the recent Rivals150 ranking update, making him the No. 4 player in the country at the center position. In October, Bediako went public with his final five schools, and he is narrowing in on a decision.

“I know I said I was supposed to commit in January," Bediako said. "You know, stuff happened. I could commit at any moment now, but it will be at the latest March. Everyone will know by March.”

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MORE: Fact or Fiction - Kansas will finish season in the Top 25

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30

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IN HIS OWN WORDS 

Duke: “The coaching staff is great, I talk with Coach K. They tell me they are recruiting no one else but me right now. They like my motor and how I play. It makes me want to keep working.”

Alabama: “Great coaching staff. You know Nate Oats, he came in and transformed Alabama. They’re ranked really high. ... They play a fast, NBA-type style and that’s also intriguing, too. They develop there, too.”

Michigan: “Coach (Juwan) Howard is a big reason they’re in there. I feel like he could develop me, help me get to the next level. One of my teammates, Caleb Houstan, committed there so that is also cool. They are great people.”

Ohio State: “They are great people there as well. I talk often with Meechie (Johnson). He is in my ear all the time, talking about how great the place is. Coach (Chris) Holtmann is doing great there. They run a four-out, one-in type system, and I feel I could fit great in their system and development.”

Texas: “Coach (Shaka) Smart, another great coaching staff. They really tell me a lot how they have developed a lot of guys like me: Jarrett Allen, Mo Bamba and right now they've got Jericho Sims there, too.”

MORE ON BEDIAKO'S RECRUITMENT 

“I have been doing a lot of research on these schools, it is honestly going to come down to which school is the best fit for me," Bediako said. "You've got a lot of stuff to look at, aside from even the basketball side, you've got to look at academics, the people you are going to be around, your teammates and how you get along. It also really comes down to trust, someone you feel comfortable with and play through mistakes and everything.”

Asked about his playing style, Bediako said his goal is to be a versatile player.

“I don’t really have a specific type of game," he said. "I am a rim-running big, and can also be in the post. I can shoot the three a little. Overall, I just want to be an all-around basketball player, more than just dunking and playing above the rim.”

This is Bediako’s first year at IMG Academy, and his game has seen notable growth since the move.

“IMG has helped me get more comfortable in the post-up game," Bediako said. "I am getting a lot more comfortable in the post now. I was quicker up and down last year. Now I am getting comfortable on the block. They have a great strength coach here. He’s crazy, but he also gets you right. I’m getting a little bit bigger; my footwork and my speed is increasing.”

IMG Academy post-graduate head coach Chad Myers has become familiar with Bediako’s game, and he has seen what the big man can offer his prospective programs.

“Charles is a Clint Capela-type of guy," Myers said of the Atlanta Hawks center. "He's a rim-runner who protects the basket and gets to the dunker spot. He is working on becoming more of a pick-and-pop guy. Right now, he plays his best off other guy’s drives.”

RIVALS' REACTION 

Bediako has always had very intriguing natural tools, with his length and ability to run. This year, he has added a sense of meanness to his game. Bediako is an active rebounder and a good rim protector. Myers' comparison to Cabela is a valid one.