Point guard Wabissa Bede led Mass Rivals to the Adidas Finale championships in South Carolina, traveled to the Basketball Hall of Fame to play in two showcase games later in the weekend, and picked up a pair of major college scholarship offers as well. Definitely a big five day stretch for his career.
Bede is a 6-foot-1 point guard from North Andover, Massachusetts and is listed at Cushing Academy. Bede and Mass Rivals won all five games in Spartanburg, South Carolina earing the right to raise the trophy as champions.
“The Adidas Finale was good, there was great competition and we versed a lot of great players,” said Bede. “For me our defense sticks out as a big reason that were are the champions.
“I feel like we're the best defensive team in the country, we play hard, block shots, dive on the floor, and make it hard for you every time down the floor.”
Bede is on a balanced team that hurts teams from all angles on both ends of the floor. He is the team’s third leading scorer and leader in assists with 7.4 points, 3.2 assists, and about three boards in 20 minutes a contest.
Minnesota watched him in South Carolina Thursday through Saturday and then again saw him play at the Basketball Hall of Fame in a couple showcase games on Saturday night and Sunday.
Coach Richard Pitino and his staff has been talking to Bede for several months now with the strongest contact starting in May. His performances over seven games during the first open period session was more than enough for Pitino to say “yes”. And Bede was excited to earn his first Big Ten offer.
“Oh I was happy to receive the offer from the Gophers, they were recruiting me a lot,” said Bede. “I have had a good relationship with Coach Nate Pomeday for a couple months and I been talking to Coach Richard Pitino a lot as of lately too.
“I like the coaches at Minnesota a lot, they sound like good people.”
The Bede offer list now includes the Gophers, Seton Hall, Butler, DePaul, VCU, UMASS, Providence, Rhode Island, LaSalle, Boston College, Temple, and many others. Of those schools there are six that are talking to him the most and were visual at his games.
“I’m hearing the most from Minnesota, Butler, UMass, LaSalle, VCU, Temple, and Rhode Island right now,” said Bede.
Bede has not put together any visits unofficial or official. That seems to be something he will look closer at after the open period.
“I might visit a school in August, but the rest I don't know yet,” Bede told GI. “I'll sit down and talk with my mom and coach Vin (Vincent Pastore) and Tom after the live period.”
What is Bede looking for in a program? He told GI about his vision both with basketball and with life off the floor.
“I’m looking for a good education, family environment, and my style of play,” said Bede. “I like to pick and roll, shoot threes and get after it on defense.
“Location isn't an issue because when your team is good in college you would rarely be home.”