Monday, November 10, 2014

Crafty Redendo Is Gym Rat Beyond His Years


It happens every day, like clockwork.

Oozing of unbridled energy, displaying flashes of prodigious handle, and bagging a barrage of off-the-dribble jumpers, NY Pride guard Brandon Redendo puts in hours and hours and hours in gyms all across the Eastern Seaboard.

Basketball consumes his livelihood.

He's a scorer by trade.

With a fusillade of pull-up jumpers and a fearlessness surging to the basket against guys that outweigh him by 50-100 pounds, Redendo made varsity at Immaculate (Danbury, Conn.) as a freshman.

Now the sophomore guard, who masquerades a diminutive frame with a thirst for scoring, Redendo's understanding of the game has sped up his production rate.

Redendo spent the entire summer gauging his grit against guys 3-4 years older than him, going at it with several Division-I caliber prospects on a workaday basis.

 He relishes the ramped up competition. Adding range on a deep 3-point shot was the kick-starter for Redendo, who showcased the touch at Gym Rat Challenge.

"No doubt about it, the kid can play," said Matt Ryan, the Iona Prep 3-point ace and Notre Dame-commit, who will pen his letter of intent with the Irish on Wednesday.

"He's got the handle on a string. He's got the range."

The Carmel native grew up emulating the likes of Steve Nash and sharpshooter Steph Curry.

He was always the lone smurf-sized kid on playgrounds across Queens and Manhattan, vowing to play against the big dogs.

With a newfound love for orchestrating offense, Redendo has developed a knack for one-handed passes on the run.

What separates the young gun is the know-how of a player who plays a lot older and bigger than he is.

At only 15, there are so many directions one's game can go in. With a flair for the game, Redendo has pulled off passes few at his level are capable of. That coupled with a workaholic-esque schedule reeks of promise.

After playing as a 5-foot-8, 125-point water bug guard on Immaculate, Redendo's game flowered this summer.

Adding on strength, speed, and the immeasurable intangible that is IQ has prepared him for the bigger stage. In the process, he extended that range past the 3-point arc. Because of his lack of size, he has to prove himself every day.

 He's cognizant of when he needs to score and put leadership matters on his shoulders.

 Accelerating a breakneck transition game has become his forte.

During various AAU tournaments, Albany Gym Rat Challenge, Regional Championships at Island Garden, and Providence Jam, to name a few, Redendo's passing and ball handling opened eyes.

Redendo has a knack for the pick-and-roll game, the style imparted on him by his father, NY Pride founder and now House of Sports director of AAU Aldo Redendo.

Shooting 23-for-37 from beyond the arc and totaling 35 assisnts in five games at the Gym Rat tournament ingrained a new mindset in the gritty little guard.

From that point on, Redendo took it upon himself to ply his trade against high-profile players. Playing at Harlem United allowed him to embrace the contact and shed the tendency of settling for jumpers.

He follows a strict regimen, including over 4,000 shots per week.

He's constantly patterning ways to free himself and catch-and-stick, and a steady dose slashing makes up his workout. With the focus of a hawk sizing up his fresh prey, he launches jumpers until his toothpick arms are worn out.

In today's world of social media and video game obsession, it's rare to find a gym rat of this caliber.

"Passing and how I see the floor are the two most important aspects of my game," Redendo said.

"That's really what I cherish the most. My Dad was my biggest inspiration growing up, he's the one who taught me all this, starting at Club Fit in Jefferson Valley when I was five years old."

Lou DeMello, the Athletic Director at House of Sports, has seen more and more of Redendo as he camps out in the gym.

"He can really get a bunch of points in a hurry," said DeMello, never one to heap praise.

 "He's got a very good understanding of the game at a young age. He's got pretty good range, but his IQ and his passing ability is what stands out. He's been working at his body and getting stronger. He needs work defensively on the ball and off the ball. He's a gym rat and continues to want to get better."