There's Tough And Then There's Matt Redmond
by Kevin McCarthy
6-foot-2 2018 prospect Matt Redmond could be considered a throwback. Or at least his game personifies this. The St. Ignatius (SI) guard could easily be mistaken for one of those feisty, intense Catholic high school backcourters coming out of New York City during the Al McGuire era, minus a hard Queens accent of course.
Responding to a query about what he does best on the court, Redmond initially offered, "I think I'm one of those guys who plays hard" but he eventually got around to describing himself as a "a finisher, a shooter and a defender. I pride myself on playing defense." He also added, "I play with a chip on my shoulder."
"Matt is one of the toughest, most competitive and coachable players to come through our program," SI Coach Rob Marcaletti said. "To say he plays with a chip on his shoulder is an understatement. He is a three-year varsity starter because he is one of those players who helped change the culture, mindset and attitude within our program while implementing a "refuse to lose" mentality. Matt prides himself on his defense intensity and his ability to attack and finish around the rim. I'm excited for Matt's senior year and to watch as he attacks every 50/50 ball as if it is his last."
So where does this competitiveness and work ethic come from? His father is a San Francisco police officer (other relatives work in or have retired from law enforcement) and that "has influenced my mentality and personality." Plus, there were the heated backyard sports battles Redmond recalled, heated interactions he participated in with his father and three younger brothers. One time, an errant elbow blackened an eye of his father who went back to work sporting a shiner with some explaining to do down at the station.
"My Dad is my role model," Redmond said. "He has helped me so much. My grandfather too." One interesting note is the bevy of high schools the extended family has attended throughout The City. Besides SI, there's Archbishop Riordan, Immaculate Conception Academy and Sacred Heart which often provides conflicting allegiances because of the variety of schools represented.
A second team All West Catholic League honoree in the 2016-17 season, Redmond cited "winning the Bruce-Mahoney trophy my sophomore year" as a best basketball moment. It's a yearly series of games between SI and rival Sacred Heart. "It means so much to so many people and the winner gets bragging rights for the year." He also treasures the West Catholic Athletic League matchups. "I love the atmosphere at all the games. It's usually crowded and noisy."
One element he believes will continue to work in SI's favor is "our team is so good you never know who is going to step up on a given night." However, he cautioned, "you have to ready to step up."
Redmond is an honor roll student in the classroom and is looking to major in criminology and psychology.
What did he work on the most this summer? "The big thing for me was trying to get better at every little thing, every possible aspect. I'm also seeing results from getting into the weight room and working on my body with [Strength and Conditioning Coach] John Murray."