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Ohio Women’s forward Edecia Beck (No. 21) holds the ball for a portrait in the Convo during a routine practice.

Women's Basketball: The new and improved Edecia Beck

Deesh Beck is no more. 

The 5-foot-9 forward from Grand Rapids that wore No. 32 for Ohio last season was a one-and-done player that will never be seen again. 

Deesh was a promising freshman for Ohio. Bob Boldon thought she would play a vital role in his future plans. Her solid rebounding ability and grit were an addition to the team, but she was wild and often in foul trouble. Last season, he once compared her to a “bull in a china shop.”

“It’s good for the rebounding, but then she might pick up two or three unnecessary fouls because of it,” Boldon said of her last season. 

It’s unknown what Deesh’s freshman year could have been. At times she showed promise, but her inexperience and unhealthy habits off the court hindered her play. Freshmen don’t always work out. People move on. Deesh will be missed but Ohio can count on her replacement.  

Enter Edecia Beck. 

Don’t let the similarity in the names fool you. Edecia is the new and improved version of Beck. Deesh 2.0 if you will. 

The 5-foot-9 forward from Grand Rapids that wears No. 21 for the Bobcats this season is a sophomore sensation. The real deal. A problem night in and out. 

Edecia isn’t just a part of Ohio’s future. She’s its present. She’s a great rebounder, solid scorer and a poised player that plays with passion and control. 

“She’s looked like a new player,” Boldon said. “She’s finally comfortable. I think toward the end of last year she got in a comfort level with her role, but it didn’t seem like it clicked right away this year. Now she seems very comfortable in how she’s playing.” 

Deesh was anything but cozy and content with her freshman season. On paper, her 3.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game were eye-opening for a player who averaged only 19.1 minutes a contest. In her eyes, however, she had failed to live up to her expectations. 

She remembered her days when she was one of the top players in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. The forward that she was wasn’t the same beast of the past. 

If she was going to get that back, she had to go back to her roots.

The first change was the number.

Beck wore No. 32 during her freshman season. She decided to change it to one that reminded her of better days. 

“I played for a team called the Michigan Crossover in Detroit my sophomore year of high school and they gave me the number 21 and I felt like I was in my prime, ” Beck said. “Like I was really good.” 

When Beck played for the Crossover, she averaged 8.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists a game, according to the team site. She was one of the team's best players and played with an attitude. 

“I was a dog,” Beck said. “I had that mentality that we’re not losing.” 

Beck’s determined physical play is what earned her minutes last season. She was considered the Draymond Green of the team; the player that’s willing to sacrifice her body to make a play. But Beck felt like her mindset also needed an adjustment before her sophomore year. 

When Beck arrived on campus her freshman year,  she felt like she wasn’t prepared physically or mentally. She wasn’t in the best shape. A pepperoni pizza from Dominos was her go-to choice for a post-practice meal. Often times she’d be the last person down the court on a fast break. She knew that had to stop. 

In the off-season, Beck embraced the weight room. Extra workouts with strength and conditioning coach Dak Notestine made her stronger. She also made a major change to her diet. 

“I started drinking more water,” Beck said. “I never used to drink water because I don’t like water.” 

A new number, a new diet and a new workout regime was a great start. She needed one more change to put it over the top, though. 

During a team volunteering day at the Athens County Food Pantry, Beck had an announcement. 

“I don’t want to go by Deesh anymore,” She proclaimed. “Call me ‘Edecia.’” 

Edecia — Beck’s birth name — comes from a mistake on her grandmother’s birth certificate. 

“Her name is Edith,” Beck said. “But on her birth certificate it says Edecia, so my mom named me Edecia.” 

The team had no problem with the name change. Some people still call her Deesh, or “E,” out of habit from last year, but make no mistake, Beck has made her name known over the course of the season. 

Currently, Beck averages 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Bobcats. The numbers aren’t significantly higher than last season, but the eye test shows improvement. 

Beck is more controlled and explosive. She’s patient with the ball but isn’t passive. When the break starts, she’s one of the first people down. The changes are working, and her coach is proud of the results.

“It comes at different times,“ Boldon said. “It’s not like every freshman clicks at the same time. They hear what we’re saying. They hear it, they hear it, they hear it and then they’re like ‘Oh, that’s what he means.” 

Edecia hears and sees what Boldon means. Deesh didn’t. In her second year, Beck has seen her role and her play elevate, and all she had to do was go back to her roots. 

In her first start last Saturday, the announcer belted the name Edecia Beck over the speaker as she trotted onto the court. Beck ended up having the best game of her career as a Bobcat. She finished with a career-high 12 points and eight rebounds. 

For Beck, change has been good. Her confidence is back. She’s becoming the player she hoped to be. 

The new and improved version. 

@JL_Kirven

jk810916@ohio.edu 

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