Ledo Needs Cooley More Than The Other Way Around
Thursday, September 01, 2011
At first glance, one might say that Providence College men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley needs Ricky Ledo more than the other way around. After all, Cooley is trying to turn around a program that has bottomed out in college basketball’s best conference – the Big East. The only way for Cooley to do that is to recruit talented players to Smith Hill and Ledo is certainly one.
But this is a story about a kid who needs the coach more than the coach needs him.
We all know by now that Ricky Ledo called off his scheduled press conference Thursday to announce that he would be attending Providence College. We were given no reason for the cancellation other than from his coach at Notre Dame Prep who said that he didn’t feel that Ledo should “rush” into any decision right now.
This is where things get a bit sticky.
Some will suggest that Ledo has too many “handlers” all of whom may have different agendas. Others blame Ledo for being immature, for this is ultimately his decision and he should make it when he wants, where he wants and commit to whom he wants. Whatever the case may be, one thing seems very clear, Ricky Ledo needs structure in his life.
A product of a difficult upbringing in Providence’s west end, Ledo hasn’t had the easiest of lives. He saw his father get shot, his uncle too and his brother do hard time. He has bounced from high school to high school with the one constant in his life being basketball.
Providence College coach Ed Cooley also didn’t have the easiest childhood. But Cooley persevered. Like Ledo, basketball was Cooley’s salvation, his ticket to life success.
We haven’t seen Ed Cooley even coach one game at PC yet but we hear about the type of coach and person that he is. He’s a disciplinarian, someone who commands respect, but someone who genuinely cares about every kid that plays for him. Ricky Ledo needs Ed Cooley.
Could Ledo play at UConn? Sure, if the Huskies have a scholarship to offer him which they currently do not. He’s talented enough to play at Syracuse and Kentucky too. Those programs may be considered better programs that PC from a standpoint of wins and losses and on the floor success. But, in all due respect to Jim Calhoun, Jim Boeheim and John Calipari, they haven’t walked a mile in Ledo’s shoes like Ed Cooley has.
Ricky Ledo wants to play for Ed Cooley at Providence College but, for whatever reason, he has yet to officially commit. Is it because he has people around him pulling him in all different directions? Or is it simply because Ledo, himself, lacks the maturity to make a commitment and stick to it? Who knows?
But if Ledo and, more importantly, his “people” really want what is best for Ricky Ledo, he will wind up a Friar under Ed Cooley and nowhere else next season.