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<p>Bradley Dean averaged an impressive 21.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last season.</p>

You might remember Bradley Dean tearing up the Virginia high school basketball scene throwing alley-oops to now-NBA player Mac McClung. You might have noticed him helping his former teammate to a recent NBA Dunk Contest victory. 

However, you’ll now know Dean as a fearless 6’2” guard ready to bring wins to the RedHawk program.

Dean transferred from the University of Virginia’s (UVA) College at Wise, a Division II school. 

At the UVA satellite campus, the 22-year-old averaged an impressive 21.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last season. The Southern Atlantic Conference Player of the Year led the team to a conference championship appearance.

“Everything was really great for me [there],” Dean said. “Super blessed to be a part of what I was.”

Despite his success at UVA Wise, Dean’s dream since day one was to play at the Division I level.

“You know the goal is always to play Division I basketball, and I wanna be a professional basketball player one day,” Dean said.

Dean was heavily recruited during his tenure at Gate City high school; however, no D1 program took a shot at him with a real offer. 

After a short stint at Scotland Prep, Dean transferred to UVA Wise. When he felt that he finally showcased a talent worthy of competing at the highest collegiate level, he entered the transfer portal.

The portal was a stressful experience for Dean. As soon as he entered, programs immediately started calling his phone, with around 30 to 40 different schools having contacted him by the end.

“It was super overwhelming trying to keep up with everything,” Dean said. “I had school work going on, I had to work out [and] I had all these things I still had to do.”

RedHawks head coach Travis Steele reached out to Dean five days after he entered the portal. He loves what he sees in the Virginia hooper. 

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“Brad loves basketball,” Steele said. “He is a process-oriented young man that is committed to getting better. He is also fearless and plays in attack mode.”

Steele knew he had a special player available to get on his roster, so he announced to Dean within five minutes of conversation that he would drive to Gate City, Virginia, to have lunch with him.

Miami was never on Dean’s radar before Steele introduced himself. He said his only prior knowledge of the program was that Ron Harper had played there. However, he was delighted to speak with a coach that believed in him.

“Man, that's crazy that the head coach would drive right at five hours to have lunch with me,” Dean said. “That showed me that he wanted me bad, and he believed in me a lot.”

Dean followed the lunch with coach Steele with a campus visit that weekend.

Dean wanted to go to a place that believed in him as much as he believed in himself. After his Oxford visit, he felt that the program carried out what he desired. As a result, he committed to being a RedHawk when he got home.

“Before I even walked out of there, I already knew where I was going,” Dean said. “I’m coming to Miami. Sometimes whenever you know, you know, which is one of those things. I’m super thankful for Coach Steele and the whole staff for believing in me.”

A huge reason Miami sought after Dean is his potential to fill the loss of Mekhi Lairy. Lairy was an all-conference-level leader who contributed 17 points routinely.

Dean’s play style and intangibles make him a perfect successor to one of the RedHawks’ greatest scorers. He is a smart and experienced guard who can lead an offense by both scoring and facilitating. 

“I felt like it was a great fit for me,” Dean said. “That’s what we did here at Wise. I came off a lot of ball screens and hit my shooters, hit my big men and stuff like that. The offense really fits me, and the staff seems to understand exactly the type of offense they want to play.

As an individual player, Dean has goals for himself to meet during his time as a RedHawk. 

“I want to be all-conference player,” Dean said. “I want to win player of the year. I want to go on to play professional basketball whether that's NBA, G-League, that’s overseas.”

However, Dean is still team-oriented. Most of his goals for next season revolve around the squad’s success.

“We already have an All-Freshman kid,” Dean said. “I’m ready to get in there and jive with them [and] get our chemistry up. Hopefully, we all eat.”

The RedHawks have had one winning season since 2010. Their last Mid-American Conference (MAC) title was claimed in 2007.

Dean’s biggest goal is to win the MAC.

“I wanna go win a MAC championship,” Dean said. 

A conference title automatically puts the winner in the March Madness tournament. Dean can’t wait to take the RedHawks to the big dance for the first time since 2007.

“That’s what I told coach Steele as soon as he asked me what I wanted,” Dean said. “I told him I want to go dancing. I want that spotlight in March Madness and go shock the world. That’s what we are going to get done in the next two years.” 

Dean will begin to build that winning chemistry with his teammates in off-season workouts this summer.