The 2019 class is thirsty for bigs from coast to coast and a talented unheralded yet highly movitated one is quietly generating momemtum in Canada.  “What motivates me is the people in my circle. My mom, my family, and my coaches. These people take time out of their days to drive me to workouts and practices and work with me. I want to be in a situation where I can pay them back for all the good things they helped me with.”  2019 Center, Jaden Bediako, of Ridley College Prep (Brampton, Ontario) has been on the radar of some higher profile Division I schools for some time now and he has been consistently performing at a high level on the court to earn those looks.

The 6’10” – 230-pound big man has a great frame that colleges covet in their centers and he moves really well at his size with a nice feel around the post area. With the body and developing game in his tool belt, Bediako is taking his experiences over the years on the court and his ambition to show those who have helped him along the way what their efforts have helped him produce.

Bediako has gained some outstanding experience the last couple years both with his school team and on the AAU circuit with his grassroots program in some highly competitive events. “This past AAU season was one of my best experiences… I played well throughout the circuit and was able to make a name for myself,” the touted center commented. He mentioned the Indiana session of EYBL as a critical one for himself and his team as they were very successful in which he took home All-Breakout Team honors. Bediako recorded double-doubles in every game during the Peach Jam preliminary Invitational and led the tournament in rebounding. He and his UPlay Canada teammates also made their way to the Summer Jam by NY2LA Sports and had a solid run in the tournament to the semi-finals thanks in large part to the hustle and play from Bediako who controlled the boards and was solid on both ends of the floor.

Bediako’s stock has risen over the year with his hard work and the development that he has shown with his offensive skill set. All the work has put him in the conversation with some of the best prospects coming out of Canada right now, and his production on the AAU circuit is paying off with having options going forward of what college he can attend for school and to further his basketball career. “I feel like I’m one of the best Canadian players on the AAU circuit, but due to playing ball in Canada, I don’t get as much exposure to recruiting sites,” Bediako mentioned, after also expressing his boost in confidence with his game after seeing a lot of the results of the effort he has put in at the gym and way he was able to compete against other top prospects like James Wiseman, Tre Mitchell, Isaiah Stewart, and Jaden McDaniels.

Going into this final basketball season at Ridley, Bediako says his main goal is simply, but emphatically, to WIN. “Last season my school finished 5th in the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association tournament… We knocked off the 4th seed RISE Prep and beat the defending champions Orangeville.”  With a good head on his shoulders and a realistic look at his team, Bediako feels like they were a young group last year that gained a lot of experience and should be ready to roll this season to take on the best. “We’re going to be playing some top teams in the US too, like Brewster Academy, and more… We got better the past 2 years, but I want to come out as a winner, an MVP, and one of the best centers in the Class of 2019,” he added with confidence in his team and strong goals for himself.

Bediako has really brought his game a long way and has polished his skills on the offensive side of the ball, but can always fall back on his work he puts in on the glass, dominating the rebounds often. “My strengths are my ability to finish around the basket at a high rate. The right jump hook is money and unstoppable and many players don’t know what I’ll do next if they take that away, so I always make them keep guessing.” Having a drop-step finish in his repertoire now is also a nice touch and he has shown great feels finishing on the rim. Being 6’10” with a big frame, Bediako also knows how to use that size to affect the post and get his teammates open looks on the perimeter with kick-outs and such, as well as controlling the offensive rebounds and getting second or third opportunities for himself or his team.

Bediako is also working hard still to improve himself and his game to be ready to show out this year and to play at the next level in high major college basketball. “The biggest thing I’m working on is changing my diet… I’m eating vegetables and protein at meals, we got a strength trainer at the school now and we lift 3 days a week, so some days I go by myself to lift to make it 4 or 5 times a week,” he said. He also added skill development-wise “I’m working on my left hand finishes and rebounding with 2 hands at all times… I’ve improved my jump shot and looking to shoot it more on face-ups.”

What the talented and developing 2019 prospect is gearing up for, is basketball at the next level where he’ll be competing against many of the best prospects out there. Bediako currently has offers from USC, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Middle Tennessee State, Toledo, Kent State, Virginia Tech, and Missouri State. Valparaiso is also showing heavy interest right now and he’ll be in town there for a visit October 12-14, before likely taking a visit to Virginia Tech later in October. While he is still open to different schools and the recruitment process ongoing, Bediako did mention that he would like to make a decision sometime in November, but he won’t rush it until he’s completely ready to commit.

Whoever gets Bediako will get a hungry, driven and hard-working big man who consistently rebounds the basketball and has a nice feel around the glass either scoring ball on offense or protecting the rim on the other end of the floor. In that semifinal game against Orangeville last year, Bediako put together an 18-point, 9-rebound performance with 2 blocks. In the finals loss, he was dominant with 22 points and another 9 rebounds. At the 2017 Canada Summer Games (in Winnipeg, Manitoba), Bediako exploded for 27 points, 16 rebounds and 8 blocks in a semifinal game against Quebec. He’ll look to add some more big moments and memories throughout this final prep season.