Kentucky vs. Indiana all star game

Pedro Bradshaw, a Russellville High School graduate, dribbles up the court June 11 during Kentucky’s 111-110 double-overtime win over Indiana in the Kentucky vs. Indiana All-Star Classic at the Frankfort Convention Center. Bradshaw announced Wednesday that he’s transferring to Eastern Kentucky from Belmont. He’ll be eligible to play next December.

Pedro Bradshaw thinks he’s found the right fit at Eastern Kentucky.

The former Russellville basketball standout announced Wednesday he’s transferring to the Richmond school after a brief stay at Belmont. He signed his transfer paperwork Wednesday and will begin play after final exams next December for Colonels coach Dan McHale.

“I think it’s a better fit overall, school-wise and also a better fit for the way I play,” Bradshaw said. “Coach McHale gives young players a chance to go out and play through their mistakes and learn without having to look over your shoulder. There’s also a good core of players there that I can learn from.”

A lack of playing time was the crux of the issue at Belmont, where Bradshaw signed out of high school. Bradshaw said that soon after arriving to play for Bruins coach Rick Byrd, he was urged to take a redshirt season. That had never come up during his recruitment, Bradshaw said, and he was determined to try and earn minutes as a true freshman and declined to sit out a season.

After nine games without seeing action, Bradshaw decided to transfer in early December. He never logged a minute of regular-season action for the Bruins. Byrd gave Bradshaw his full release to look for a spot elsewhere.

“Coach Byrd had his own reasons, and I had something else in mind,” Bradshaw said. “There’s no malice. We didn’t butt heads or anything. It just didn’t work out.”

A 6-foot-7 wing, Bradshaw finished a stellar high school career at Russellville by leading the Panthers to the Region 4 Tournament championship game in March. As a senior, Bradshaw averaged a solid double-double with 22.1 points and 13.1 rebounds per game as he earned co-Region 4 Player of the Year honors as selected by the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches.

Eastern Kentucky was among the schools pursuing Bradshaw during his high school career, and after initially planning visits to Missouri State and Washington State after announcing his intention to transfer he made a quick trip to Richmond to renew acquaintances with McHale and his staff including his primary recruiter, Colonels assistant coach Terrence Commodore.

Bradshaw never made those other visits, instead choosing to play for an in-state program that he thinks offers a better chance to make an impact. He’ll be a sophomore when he suits up for the Colonels with three seasons of eligibility left.

As for Western Kentucky – a school where he’s been a season ticket-holder – Bradshaw said he was never recruited as more than a potential walk-on in high school and wasn’t contacted by the school following his release by Belmont.

Eastern Kentucky, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference just like Belmont, is off to a 6-7 start so far this season. Bradshaw is looking forward to a fresh start next season.

“It’ll be good,” Bradshaw said. “I’m excited, man. It’s a new beginning.”{&end}

– Follow sports editor Jeff Nations on Twitter @Jeff_NationsBG or visit bgdailynews.com.

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