Recruit displays versatility
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 1/31/2001

Catching the ball just inside the three-point line, Eleanor Roosevelt guard Eddie Basden elevates, getting good height on what looks to be an impending field-goal attempt.

Expecting a shot, the opposing big men from Riverdale Baptist position themselves for a potential rebound.

t at the apex of his jump, Basden sees teammate Gordon Klaiber alone on the baseline five feet from the basket. Basden fires the ball to him for an easy layup.

The assist is a highlight in a quiet night for Basden, the 6-foot-5 guard who signed a letter of intent in November to play at the University of Massachusetts next year.

In the second game of the fifth annual DeMatha Classic, a showcase of Mid-Atlantic high school teams at the Washington, D.C., MCI Center, Roosevelt routs Riverdale, 85-53, last Friday.

Basden coasts a bit as the team pulls away, finishing with eight points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

His coach, Glen Farello, assures onlookers that this is not a typical night from the Greenbelt, Md., product.

"UMass is getting themselves a good one up there," he says. "Eddie is a special kid. He's very versatile. He played the point today. He played the post today. His best position is on the wing."

Even in an otherwise unspectacular effort, Basden's unselfishness stood out.

"He's a great passer. He ran the point and led the team in assists last year," Farello says. "He does a great job of finding people."

"I try to get everybody involved," says Basden. "If everybody feeds off of me, then when I'm doing well the team is going to do well. I like to pass. We're trying to win a championship, and to get there you have to play team ball. Before I leave, I do want a championship."

The Roosevelt Raiders are on the right track toward fulfilling that wish. The win over Riverdale makes them 14-1. Basden has done his part, averaging 20.5 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Basden has yet to qualify academically for UMass, but he claims to be close."

In the first quarter I had a 3.7 (GPA) and this quarter I'm still over 3.0, so I'm doing real well," he said. "I got an 810, so I need about 10 more points."

He took the test again Saturday.

His schoolwork isn't all he's working on. Improving his jump shot is also a priority.

"Shooting is the one thing he needs to work on. He's come a long way," Farello says. "But getting to the basket is what he does best."

Farello praised Basden's dedication to improving.

"He loves to play. It's hard to get him to realize that I need him rested up sometimes," Farello says. "There is a 24-hours-a-day facility with 20 courts that the kids go to. He's always there working on his game."

Basden has kept track of his future teammates, calling the UMass coaches on a regular basis. Minuteman assistant Geoff Arnold drove down from Philadelphia to see him play in the DeMatha Classic.

"I know they've been up and down," Arnold says. "They've been playing better lately. I know they have only one conference loss and are first in the conference."

ELSEWHERE: Jeremiah King, a 6-2 guard from New Jersey, who also has signed with the Minutemen, has left the Winchendon School after personality differences with coach Mike Byrnes. He is looking for a school where he can finish his high school career.

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