Charles Bediako shot 76.5 percent from the field between a combined four Peach Jam u16 games and four high school games (vs Moravian Prep, Combine Academy, Beckley Prep and Huntington Prep). He shot an excellent 61.3 percent in 25 games for Canada basketball as well. He is excellent at creating angles around the rim and using his long arms to get off shots from various points around his body. Bediako has shown the ability to make underhanded flip shots from down at his hip to shield off defenders or to extend his arms all the way to the other side of the rim for a reverse, among other crafty maneuvers. Bediako is not an explosive leaper, but does not need to be with a standing reach likely comfortably above nine feet. He also shows excellent touch in close, often finishing softly off the backboard or just getting the ball on the rim for a soft bounce through the net. This ability and combination of skills hints at the possibility of the young big man eventually developing his jump shooting. His improvement in free throw shooting from 2017 of 40.0 percent to 2019 where he shot 64.3 percent is further evidence of this potential development.
Bediako already shows flashes of advanced footwork going into his jumper like the nifty hop he uses in the first clip or the quick rise of the jab step in the second.
Bediako is a player who understands his offensive strengths and plays to them as well as any big in high school basketball. He is almost always at the dunker spot or at the front of the rim at the right times, shooting 75.0 percent on putbacks with Canada basketball and 61.4 percent on putbacks with UPlay Canada. He does an excellent job moving without the ball and putting himself in position for many high efficiency looks. He is willing to play through contact and is aggressive around the rim.
Bediako is a dream come true for excellent playmakers like UPlay teammate Ryan Nembhard. Bediako consistently creates angles for easy drop offs, lobs and wrap around passes. As mentioned, he finishes them at an incredibly high rate as well and should prove to be a very effective target as a roll man in ball screen heavy modern professional basketball. He was in the top ten percent of roll man efficiency with UPlay in 2019 shooting 62.2 percent in the halfcourt at the rim and an even more impressive 80.6 percent in transition – a mark in the 99th percentile of all players. His unusual timing, intimidating length, willingness to play through contact and finishing craft also allows Bediako to draw fouls at staggeringly high rates.
Bediako’s eventual ability to expand his range past the NBA three-point line is what his pro upside hinges on to a significant degree. Perimeter shooting and spacing the floor are extremely coveted in the modern game, even amongst big men. One of the easiest ways for a young center to stand out is by providing 5-out spacing for their team. The ability to be a threat in pick and rolls, as well as pick and pops, makes a big man uniquely dangerous. Bediako already collapses defenses inside with his length, uncanny ability to create paint opportunities, and foul drawing. Forcing defenders to stick with him on the perimeter would push his NBA value up another level.
Despite some of the promise Bediako shows as a shooter, his shot mechanics still need work. He places the ball almost all the way behind his head and has a slight pause in his wind up, leading to the release happening on the way down during his jump.
Bediako does not show much upside as a playmaker for now and has a tendency to expose the ball to defenders leading to turnovers. His handle is high and loose, showing up most with his struggles as a post player. To be fair, he is not really asked to be much of a passer or ball handler at this point. However, at the next level, he could maximize his stock by showing the ability to make quick reads out of short rolls and by doing a better job finding cutters and shooters out of post ups.
As in the video clip above, Bediako already shows flashes of passing ability and he clearly is not a selfish player. However, there is much work to do in this regard. At times, he will force bad shots over hard doubles, miss open teammates or be unaware of the location of help defenders. While playing out of the post is not as popular as it once was in the NBA, Bediako can stand to improve his technique in sealing his man and using leverage to carve out space and create better positioning. He is far too upright inside and gets easily moved off his spots and pushed off balance by stronger players.
Even when showing his impressive interior touch by finishing the play, Bediako is still unable to get optimal positioning due to poor interior technique.
Athletic Ability/Physical Tools
Bediako possesses impressive length which allows him to be a highly effective finisher despite lacking high level vertical pop. He is not twitchy and explosive moving horizontally but is able to run the floor well with long strides and light feet. At this stage of his development he is not a player who overpowers opponents physically. However, Bediako has a solid frame that promises to put on more weight and fill out without sacrificing his agility, leaping or other aspects of his mobility. He has solid hip agility and short space quickness, moving well enough laterally to be used in hard hedges and to contain ball handlers in most pick and roll coverages. Bediako also shows very good flexibility and contortion as a big man.
Generally, he is more of a smooth, fluid athlete than a twitchy, explosive one. In the foreseeable future, Bediako needs to work on his lower body strength as he can, at times, be backed down by smaller players or be unable to establish position down low.
Bediako at times struggles with timing, anticipation and awareness. All things that should improve with experience but can nevertheless use more focus. At times, he reacts slowly to actions happening around him which leads to disappointing mistakes on both ends. As a big man who could theoretically be a defensive anchor, there are too many plays where Bediako is out of position, late on rotations or just mistimes his shot contests like in the clip below.
This lack of hand eye coordination, reflexes and reaction timing is an unfortunate theme in Bediako’s game currently. It can at times be seen on rebounds and on the offensive end as well.
A lot of this can and should improve with experience and age. Spending time analyzing film and practicing live play situations can be helpful in development as well. In some ways his sense of timing can be useful, especially on the offensive end, where his unique rhythm gets defenders off balance and helps Bediako draw fouls, as mentioned earlier. However, it does add some further importance to the development of his jump shooting, as a factor in Bediako’s future ability to realize his promising potential.