Sean Pedula hasn’t forgotten his home’s driveway.
1,100 miles from the concrete slab of Edmund’s basketball goal, the porch of Pedula’s home has turned into something of a legend.
“Very intense,” Pedula said.
As the third youngest of nine children, he was beaten countless times, too many to admit. He had some moments of glory, too.
Fouls were rarely called. They were allowed, but more than that, they were a sign of weakness.
“It’s not about skill,” Edmund Memorial coach Shane Cowherd said of the game he only heard about.
“It’s literally about who survives the most fractures.”
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Pedulla had to endure. He had to learn how to get better.
It’s the space that shaped Pedulla into an up-and-coming basketball star, turning doubt into stardom.
In his second season at Virginia Tech, the former Memorial star is the talk of the ACC. He is one of the conference’s top points guards and leads the Hokies in points and assists.
And he’ll have one more chance to prove himself when they face Oklahoma State University at 1pm on Sunday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Cowboys have been slow to recruit Pedula in high school, largely due to restrictions on in-person recruiting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, they made a late push that wasn’t enough to keep him in shape.
“I’m not the type to hold grudges or anything like that,” Pedula said. “I affirm that tip-on-the-shoulder is the correct term.
“I felt like they held me out a little to see where the other kids were going.”
Pedulla scores an average of 17 points while shooting 50% overall and 35% from a 3-point range. He is also averaging 3.8 assists. He fits perfectly into Mike Young’s system.
“He’s playing for one of my best friends,” said OSU coach Mike Boynton. “I told him this when I recruited him. He’s been playing this game, so he’s personally picked a really good coach.
“This kid is a hard worker, comes from a great family, played for a great high school coach. I am not surprised that you are.”
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Still, Pedulla has dealt with this suspicion for as long as she can remember.
Eye tests showed that Pedulla was by no means tall. He wasn’t athletic enough. If he was going to play college basketball, he was told that a mid-major Division I program or Division II would be best.
That was my motivation.
Early in high school, he worked to prove people who believed it wrong.
He watched other players he knew get scholarship offers and better rankings.
“If this kid is clearly better than me, I’m going to prove why he isn’t,” Pedula said.
It actually started.
Pedulla intensified. He has increased his training.
“He was always playing with players who were better than him,” said Brooks Mantzer, Pedula’s close friend and former Edmund Memorial teammate, who is now on the OSU walk-on. .
“And people will be like, ‘Oh my God, who is this guy?'”
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In the summer of 2020, before his senior year of high school, Pedulla scored 31 points against the Nike EYBL team. A few weeks later, he scored his 25th with his team Adidas.
Pedulla has gone viral. His recruitment has started.
“He’s one of the three best players ever in my gym,” Cowherd said.
Cowherd said Pedulla never took a day off. He found a way to be the best player every day.
“This man is going to kill,” Manzer said. “In practice, he’s running with his mouth scraped off.”
However, Manzer also considered Pedula to be the best teammate.
He made others better.
Manzer isn’t surprised to see his friend doing very well at Virginia Tech. Last season, Pedulla came out strong in the second half as a true freshman off the bench, shooting almost 45% from 3-point range, and he scored 19 points in the NCAA Tournament against Texas.
He quickly became a fan favorite of the Hawkeyes.
“Like most people who’ve seen Sean perform, he looks like a Catholic choir boy but has the mind and skill set of an assassin,” Cowherd said. I got
Now Pedulla is the starting point guard.
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And at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, he’s making waves in impressive fashion.
“I joked about it with some guys,” Mantzer said. doubt him, but he’s a Division I player.”
Manzer saw this coming.
He occasionally attended pick-up basketball games in his driveway.
It was there that Manzer truly discovered the competitive side of Pedula. Some of his older siblings were college basketball players or rugby stars. Their father, Dominic, played college baseball at Fordham University.
But Pedulla had to be the best.
I had no other choice.
“It’s also a real competitive edge,” said Manzer. “It’s not just fakes.
“He has to win.”
Jacob Unruh covers college sports at The Oklahoman. You can send your story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or @jacobunruh on Twitter.Support his work and that of other Oklahoma journalistsBuy a digital subscription today.