Philadelphia Daily News: 'Maine Man on Campus'
Courtesy of Ed Barkowitz, Philadelphia Daily News
Feature of men's basketball senior Ben Badeen as seen in Monday's (Jan. 30) Philadelphia Daily News.
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. - Holy Family guard Ben Badeen (Newport, Maine/Maine Central Institute) did not play in the game against Chestnut Hill earlier this month, but he definitely contributed to the victory.
The Tigers play a 2-3 zone, similar to the defense Syracuse uses. They are sometimes vulnerable to teams that use big men in the high post. Badeen found video of Chestnut Hill College online and relayed valuable information to his coaches. The scouting report helped HFU win the game, 70-67.
Badeen, a deep sub, is probably the easiest guy to spot in the Holy Family layup line because of his height.
He doesn't have any.
But, even at 5-0, Badeen was determined to play college basketball. He grew up in the tiny town of Newport, Maine (pop. 1,776) and discovered Holy Family through a Google search. He has relatives who live in the area and was invited to walk on to play basketball.
"The biggest challenge is trying to be able to get shots off against taller opponents," Badeen said. "The biggest advantage, at my height, is that it's hard for people to bend down and guard me. It's very easy to go by people."
Badeen doesn't play much, but he also never gets discouraged. The most extensive time he's gotten in his four seasons was starting 14 games as a sophomore when the roster was depleted by academic casualties. He has appeared in two games this year.
The diminutive guard has played for three head coaches. Alfred Johnson opened the door for Badeen. John O'Connor resigned following the viral video of him shoving a player last year. Now, R.C. Kehoe is running things. All of them loved Badeen's heart. He's like "Rudy" in sneakers.
"It's an amazing story," said Kehoe, a guard at Roman Catholic in the mid-1990s, who had previously been an assistant at Delaware. "There are very few kids at this level [NCAA Division II] that go into [just about] every single day knowing they are not going to [play]. And he's never once blinked. He's constantly our hardest worker. He's always coming up to the coaches with things that he sees. He's got a coach's mentality that I love."
The Tigers, 6-21 last year, are 10-9 and 6-5 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference this season.
Badeen is a two-time all-conference academic honoree who majors in management marketing. He plans to stay in basketball in some capacity upon graduation.
"I can see him being a terrific high school coach/teacher, if that's what he aspires to do," Kehoe said. "I will give him every opportunity to do whatever he wants to do because of his work ethic and his character. There's not too many people that could do what he did for 4 years and be the person he is. He's a unique human being and a great role model for kids that want to be a part of something."