Former Russellville basketball standout DeAndre “Pedro” Bradshaw signed a letter of intent with Eastern Kentucky University on December 27.
Bradshaw, a Mr. Basketball finalist who finished his career as the all-time leading rebounder at Russellville, originally signed with Belmont University — one of EKU’s rivals in the Ohio Valley Conference — but decided to transfer from the Nashville school following the completion of the fall semester. He’ll be eligible to play at EKU following the completion of the fall 2018 semester.
Playing in his home state “kind of played a role” in his decision, Bradshaw said, “but mostly it was because I love Coach (Dan) McHale and his coaching staff.”
Bradshaw, an All-State first team selection and a Kentucky All-Star starter as a senior, said EKU recruited him the hardest of any school during his initial recruitment but he informed McHale during his last unofficial visit that he was likely going to choose Belmont over the Colonels. He committed to Belmont, which has played in the OVC finals every season since joining the league in the 2012-13 season, in August 2016.
EKU was one of the first schools to reach out when news of Bradshaw’s release from Belmont hit Twitter.
“I knew that this would be a good fit but I also knew that I had to open my eyes a little wider and be a little wiser about everything this time around,” said Bradshaw, who took about three weeks to make a decision.
Bradshaw said Belmont Coach Rick Byrd advocated red-shirting the 6-foot-7 wing in the fall but left the decision in his hands. Bradshaw wanted to put in the time to try and get on the court; he had nine points and six rebounds in eight minutes in Belmont’s exhibition against Trevecca Nazarene but never logged a regular-season minute for the Bruins.
“People that know me ... they know that I’m not the guy who just gets up and quits or leaves a situation, especially one like Belmont,” said Bradshaw. “ ... There’s no malice between me and the coaches, especially me and Coach Byrd. It just wasn’t a good fit and sometimes you’ve got to move on if you feel that’s what best for you.”