At one of the biggest basketball camps in CSUB's history it's the players who are the stars. But senior guard Dedrick Basile admits this month's was different. "I just love how all the little kids know who I am," he said. Making the biggest shot in school history will do that.
After hitting the game winning three against New Mexico State in the WAC final, Dedrick earned tournament MVP, hoisted the WAC trophy and helped send the Runners to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
Looking back now head coach Rod Barnes remembers what Basile said as a prospect. "I'm going to come here and help you win," Barnes recalled him saying. "A lot of times student athletes do that but once they get on your campus they realize it's a bit harder that what they think."
But if anyone can appreciate the hard work it takes to succeed on the court, it's someone who learned about hard times growing up.
"It was tough going house to house," Basile said. More than once the electricity was turned off at his apartment. It was in high school, when many of his friends were getting into trouble on the streets, that Basile decided to dedicate himself to his basketball game. He was offered a scholarship to CSUB in the Fall of 2014 but right before coming to Bakersfield, his mother's apartment complex went up in flames. Everything in the Houston apartment was lost.
"Before I came out here all I had was a bag...and a dream," said Basile. This past year that dream started to become a reality. He was one of just two Runners players to start in every game and was third on the team in scoring.
But right before CSUB would take on Arizona State in their first game after Christmas hard times hit again. His friend Melvin Swift was shot and killed in Houston. Basile had been home over Christmas break and seen Swift just days earlier. To honor his friend he dedicated the rest of the season to his memory writing "RIP Swift" on the backs of his sneakers.
— Dedrick Basile (@dbasile_10) January 9, 2016
That resiliency, to handle life's toughest tests, is part of what coaches say makes him the perfect player to reflect a program who's time has come. "He's just one of those guys who one challenge after another, he's the kind of kid who you want in your corner when you go to battle," Barnes said.
Assistant coach Jeff Conarroe says Basile was a good one to hit the shot because it brings light to the work being done at CSUB. "People have been working hard in this community for a long, long time," he said. "That shot certainly changed everything but nothing changed about this community or this program or what we stand for."
Basile will look for another huge milestone next year when he hopes to be the first in his family to walk across the stage at CSUB as a college graduate.
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