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Reddick’s talents go beyond the hardwood

Watching Furman basketball player Charlie Reddicklaunch a long-range jumper is like watching an artist at work.

Literally.

The 6-foot-5 junior wing from Powder Springs, Ga., has a talent for drawing, and uses it as a creative outlet, time-passer and source of amusement for teammates.

Reddick said his mother is an art teacher, and her support encouraged him to develop his talent.

But Mom doesn’t have his artwork taped all over the refrigerator. They’re in drawing books on campus and back home.

The soft-spoken Reddick said he first got confirmation he may have artistic ability “maybe in the ninth grade. My art teacher told me my self-portrait for my final (exam) was really good.”

Reddick said the self-portrait ranks among the most unusual final exams he’s had “because we had to draw a self-portrait in the style of M.C. Escher, a famous artist. There’s a picture of him drawing hands drawing hands, so I drew a hand drawing myself. (My teacher) said it was pretty good.

“It was just weird,” Reddick said. “I’m not used to drawing myself.”

Reddick does enjoy seeing other artists’ work for inspiration. He was a regular visitor to the High Museum in Atlanta. “My mom, Colin (Charlie’s twin brother and fellow Paladins basketball player) and I used to go there after church every Sunday. It’s awe-inspiring to see people’s work – especially paintings. I’m so dumbfounded that people can make a picture with photo realism; I can’t do that. I wouldn’t have the patience for it.

“If somebody can control color, I have the utmost respect for them because I can’t do it,” Reddick said. “It’s inspiring in an ‘I wish I could do that’ way. At this point I don’t have the time to practice and master paints and color drawing like I really want to.”

Reddick said drawing people is his favorite. But he doesn’t sit around campus scouting out potential candidates.

“Usually, somebody randomly finds my drawing book and says ‘Oh, You can draw; can you draw me?'” Reddick said. “I’ll say ‘yeah, if you give me a picture.’ I’m not really good with details straight from memory, unless I’ve seen it like a thousand times. So, I need a visual reference so I can get it pretty good.

“It’s just different to draw people’s faces, because everybody’s not the same,” Reddick said. “There’s a technique to drawing eyes and noses and facial structures, but once you get the gist of it down it’s pretty good to see that you can create images of other people.”

Reddick said he didn’t have to endure any art-isn’t-macho ribbing as he was growing up in suburban Atlanta.

“In middle school everybody had to take art.

“I wasn’t that good in middle school, to be honest with you,” Reddick said. “But my mom was like ‘Oh, everything you do is great’ even when in my opinion it wasn’t that good.”

“I think people find it astonishing when people can draw, because they can’t draw,” Reddick said. “Even though

I have a personal opinion that everyone can draw; some people just don’t have the patience to do it.”

“In the summertime when I was a freshman I was drawing because I was bored,” Reddick said. “People would see me and say ‘Oh my goodness, how did you do that?’ I’d say ‘I don’t know.’ I was just looking at my computer screen and drawing.”

With the basketball team spending hours on buses traveling to road games, drawing would seem like an easy way to pass the miles, but Reddick said that’s not the case.

“I generally take my book, but it’s kind of hard to draw on the bus because it’s bumpy,” Reddick said. “In the room, if I don’t have a ton of homework I’ll try to finish something I started.”

“I have a big drawing book under my bed,” Reddick said. “I try to draw portraits of people. ”

Occasionally, he’ll draw caricatures of teammates when they don’t know it.

“I only do those when we go to restaurants,” he said. “There’s some Italian restaurant where they have paper and crayons on the table. When we were at Greensboro this year I drew a picture of Colin. Because he had stitches across his eye, I drew him beat up. He had a purple/black eye, stitches, his head wrapped going across his face. I had a little bubble of him (saying) ‘Coach, I can’t see.’

“I usually do that when one of my teammates isn’t looking. It’s just fun,” Reddick said. “It’s not as much stress to draw a caricature.”

Most of Reddick’s work has been in pencil, but he said “I’m dabbling in pastels. I’m not really good at controlling paint – or anything with color, really. I’m really good with pencils, but I’ve been working on controlling colors.

Reddick said he’s used lead art pencils as his medium “because it’s the most forgiving.”

But erasers aren’t always the solution when he feels he may not have done something up to his standards.

“Generally, if I can use my pencils, I can get whatever I want to get erased because my needle erasers will do a good job of it,” Reddick said. “But if I use my mechanical pencils from class, sometimes those don’t erase well and leave hard lines on the paper. I tend to use my art pencils to draw.”

Reddick hasn’t taken any art courses during his time on Furman. “I’m just trying to get my classes out of the way,” he said. “And, the art classes are usually the first ones to go and they’re like really early in the morning.”

Reddick said one of his favorite drawings is a picture of Jesus. “I thought it was really good. It’s not realistic, but I thought it looked good. I gave it to (Furman women’s basketball player) Teshia Griswold and she really liked it.

“And I like my drawing of a body,” Reddick said. “It shows the muscles of the upper body. I left it at home, because I didn’t want to bring all of my artwork up here.

“I like those two the best,” Reddick said. “I did my aunt in pastels, but I like those other ones better.”

Reddick said there’s no set amount of time he spends on a drawing. “I’m not one to spend like 80 hours on a drawing. My art teacher once said sometimes you spend a lot of time on one thing and just get tired of working on it. Sometimes, you just need to stop and get away from it. Then, you can come back to it and see what’s really wrong with it.

“Sometimes I’ll have spurts where I work on something for a couple of hours for maybe a week, then Saturday I’ll say ‘Oh my gosh, I’m tired,'” Reddick said. “Then I’ll take like two weeks off, come back to it and say ‘yeah, the ear looks weird,’ and then I’ll fix it.

“It just depends on how I’m feeling. If I’m in the mood to draw I’ll probably just sit there all night and draw,” Reddick said. “If not, I’ll just take some time off.”

When the Reddicks were recruited for Furman, Colin was generally regarded as the better recruit. Colin played as a freshman in 2009-10, while Charlie was redshirted. Charlie averaged 2.9 points per game the next season.

He emerged as an offensive threat last season, scoring 10.1 points per game and hitting on 38.3 percent of his three-pointers.

This season, he’s had more time available to draw than he probably would have liked. A series of injuries have befallen him since late last season. He’s missed two games this season and didn’t start in four others.

Reddick’s woes began with a wrist injury last season. “They found out I’d torn a ligament in my left wrist in June and they put me in a cast,” he said. “In July I dislocated two bones in my right hand. I was out for eight weeks – basically the whole summer.

“Then at the beginning of the basketball season I got a contused quadriceps muscle in my left leg,” Reddick said. “I didn’t really let that heal and apparently I was overcompensating for my leg. I got bursitis in my hip, That didn’t take that long to go away, but it still pained me.

“Then at the last Wofford game I got folded in half and bruised some muscles in between my ribs,” Reddick said. “I’ve been beat up all year.

“I’ve been nicked and bruised since last February,” Reddick said. “It’s been a rough year. Finally, all this medicine and shots I’m taking to get better have kicked in the past couple of weeks.”

He scored 20 points against Georgia Southern Jan. 31 and followed that two nights later with a career-high 26 against The Citadel.

“I felt pretty good that night,” Reddick said. “I can’t say I have all year, but that was probably the most at-ease with my body I’ve been all year.”

Reddick said having to be a spectator for some games and at less than 100 percent physically for others was frustrating. “It’s always a struggle when you can’t do something you know you feel you can. There just comes a time when you have to have faith in your teammates, because you can’t do anything about being hurt. It’s already happened.

“For the most part I think my teammates have done a good job of trying to fight through adversity, even though things may not have gone our way this season,” Reddick said. “We have a lot of young players playing, for them to get this experience now is good for us. They’ll know what to do when it comes to the (Southern Conference) Tournament.”

Colin Reddick, a senior because he didn’t redshirt, is leading the Paladins in scoring and having the best year of his career. Brother Charlie said he’s proud, but couldn’t resist a good-natured rib. “I remember when we played College of Charleston he scored 25 points. During a timeout I looked at him and nodded my head like ‘It’s about time,’ and he just looked at me like ‘Yeah.’

“I’m really happy for him,” Reddick said. “I really felt in my heart he could score 30 points a game. He doesn’t average but about 12 points a game, but he still commands double teams. He’s still a person other teams have to fear that he’ll cause damage to their goal of winning.

“I’m happy for him and I just want him to continue so he can play basketball after this (professionally).”

Charlie Reddick said he’d like to use his artistic ability professionally once he gets his degree from Furman.

“I think I could use my drawing skills for advertising,” Reddick said. “I’d like to go into some type of marketing after I graduate, but not necessarily as a professional artist.”

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