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Ryan Beddeo's basketball bravado

Wildcats junior has enormous confidence in his game

Posted: January 19, 2014 9:49 p.m.
Updated: January 19, 2014 9:49 p.m.

West Ranch junior guard Ryan Beddeo was an understudy of former teammate and 2013 All-SCV Player of the Year, Kevin Harris.

 

If the West Ranch Wildcats boys basketball team hopes to three-peat as Foothill League champions, it will have to do so without some of the standout players that helped build the program’s winning foundation.

With the departures of senior leaders Ako Kaluna, Kevin Harris and Zac Nuttall, West Ranch lost 42.6 points per game of scoring that it was statistically allowed to expect every night in 2012-13.

It’s a void that the Wildcats are obviously looking to fill, and one of the first players they are turning their attention to in picking up the slack is junior guard Ryan Beddeo.

“As far as point guards go, and I always tell people, I wasn’t half as good as Ryan is or is going to be,” says West Ranch head coach Shant Bicakci, who as recently as the 2004-05 season was running the point for Saugus before beginning his career as an educator. “Coming in his freshman year we knew he had the skills to play at the varsity level. Now he’s grown a bit and he’s gotten a lot stronger. That’s the thing about Ryan — he is always working on his game.”

Standing at 6-foot-1, Beddeo has enough confidence to sell an educated man a Circuit City franchise.

“They do get a lot of attention,” says Beddeo of Hart’s dynamic guard tandem of Lewis Stallworth and Myles Franklin. “But I personally think I’m the best player in the league. They have proven themselves, I’ve played them. You can’t argue with their results or what they’ve done. Not everybody has the same type of game though, and I think I can score and pass with anyone.”

Beddeo has bravado, no doubt. But considering all the winning he’s been around, it’s hard to blame him.

Since joining the varsity team as a freshman, the guard has helped hand deliver two Foothill League titles to the West Ranch boys basketball program.

Long before attending West Ranch, he was asked to uphold a family tradition.

Ryan’s legal name is Walter R. Beddeo V.

His father, Walter IV was a member of the UCLA Bruins swim team. His grandfather, Walter III, played football at the University of Nebraska. Now a standout basketball player, with intent to join the Wildcats baseball team this Spring, Ryan is upholding the family legacy of athletic achievement.

“Him (Walter IV) being a good athlete has brought a competitiveness to the family,” Beddeo says. “My mom was actually the person that started calling me Ryan. She said we had to call me by my middle name, and it has stuck.”

Last season, Beddeo was good for a team-best 3.4 assists per game while finishing fourth in scoring with 8.2 points per contest.

Things are different this year, as Beddeo and teammate Christian Ware-Berry will be the focal point of West Ranch’s offense.

But according to former teammate and last year’s All-SCV Player of the Year, Kevin Harris, Beddeo will only continue to flourish as the stage gets bigger.

“He can definitely help the team in the same type of role I played, if not more,” says Harris, who now plays basketball at UCSD. “With Beddeo, teams will tend to focus a lot of attention on stopping him, so he can find teammates open. He feels like he can do whatever he wants with the ball in his hands.”

Thus far, the ball hasn’t been in Beddeo’s hands as much as West Ranch fans would probably like to see.

The guard dealt with a string of minor injuries during the preleague season, which caused him to miss all but three games leading up to Tuesday’s 73-68 loss to Hart in the Foothill League opener.

“We just have to focus on taking care of business because we will get another chance to prove ourselves,” says Beddeo of the loss, in which he scored 11 points.

Even after two league titles and family history of athletic distinction, the fifth edition of Walter R. Beddeo feels he has a lot to prove.

He believes he’s the best player in the valley, and this year is an opportunity for him to make his case.

“He’s used to all of this attention,” says teammate Izayah Doyle, who serves as the team’s rebounding guru/energy sparkplug. “Coach Bicakci always tries to put him in high-pressure situations in practice. What scares him? Nothing, really.”

Now sitting at 6-11 with two close losses already in Foothill League play to Hart and Canyon, the Wildcats are still as fearless as their point guard.

“We just got to get our swagger back,” Beddeo says. “We think we’re still the best team (in the Foothill) and 8-2 has won league many times.”

When they look in the mirror, the Wildcats see only a defending champion that went through the ringer in preleague season and isn’t afraid of going through another one.

When Beddeo looks in the mirror, he sees a talented basketball player with an opportunity to continue his team’s legacy and further build his own.

The next couple of weeks will determine whether or not the Foothill League sees the same thing.

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