Merced High boys basketball coach Hector Nava couldn’t help but reflect on how far Jeremy Redwine had come since when Nava first met him as a sixth grader.
Through dedication and hard work, Redwine had earned his way to his seat at the center of the table in Merced High’s new gym. With many basketball players in the Bears boys and girls program in attendance, Redwine signed his national letter of intent to play basketball at Penn State Beaver.
“Jeremy is a great example of what hard work can do when you work on your basketball craft and skills,” Nava said. “When I met him as a sixth grader, he wasn’t the best player coming out of junior high. If he’s not the best now, he’s one of the best coming out of high school in the county.”
Redwine was a three-year varsity player for Nava at Merced. Each year he made great strides. Redwine put in the work each offseason and saw improvement each year.
He averaged just 4.5 points per game as a sophomore. That jumped to 10.9 points as a junior. Last season Redwine averaged 17.3 points and 6.9 rebounds to earn all-Central California Conference first-team honors.
It also helped Redwine grew from a 6-foot-2 sophomore into a 6-5 senior.
“This validates everything you go through, all the long days when you don’t know if you can take it anymore,” Redwine said. “This is why you do it. The love of the sport. To go through all that and see all the support I have here, it feels great.”
Redwine will receive academic scholarships that will cover the bulk of his cost for school. Penn State Beaver is a common wealth campus of Penn State.
“It’s all under the Penn State umbrella,” Redwine said. “It’s a sub campus. My degree will say Penn State. There’s a possibility of trying out and moving up the main campus, but that’s very rare.”
Redwine was put in contact with the coaching staff at Penn State Beaver through a recruiting website. Head coach Brian Bibey has been recruiting Redwine for about a year.
Redwine saw a lot of similarities with Bibey and Nava.
“He’s kind of in the same situation Nava was in at Merced when I got here,” Redwine said. “(Bibey) is in his third season as coach. I think Nava was in his fourth season when I got here. He has a lot of the same qualities I saw with Nava.”
Nava says Penn State Beaver is getting a winner in Redwine.
“He’s versatile,” Nava said. “He’s great on the perimeter. He’s great in the post. The number one thing is he loves to play basketball. He doesn’t get enough.”
Redwine is excited for the opportunity to continue playing the sport he loves in college.
“It’s great,” Redwine said. “I love it. Basketball has been my life since I started playing when I was seven years old. That’s all I ever wanted to do. I get to go back to work.”