Player: James Edwards, Roosevelt, Class of 1973.
High-school rewind: Edwards led the Roughriders to a state title in 1973 with a 67-59 victory over defending champion Richland. Edwards, an all-state selection as a senior, was named to the Times’ All-Century first team.
After high school: The 7-foot-1 Edwards stayed in Seattle and starred at Washington, earning All-America honors in his junior season when he led the Huskies to a 23-5 record and an NCAA tournament berth. Edwards averaged 20.9 points in his senior season, finishing his college career with 1,548 points, still fifth best in UW history. Edwards was drafted in the third round by the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, then traded to Indiana during his rookie season. He enjoyed a 19-year NBA career and won back-to-back titles with Detroit. Edwards was also a member of the 1996 Bulls team that beat Seattle in a six-game championship series.
After athletics: After his third NBA title, Edwards retired to his hometown. He has coached area youth teams and worked at big-men camps. He also spent a year coaching in Korea.
“It would be nice to get into a higher level of coaching, either college or pro,” he said.
Personal: Edwards, 49, lives in Seattle and has four children, ages 7 to 13.
Fast forward: Edwards is caught up in the excitement surrounding Husky hoops. Since his senior season, Washington has had only four 20-win teams and six NCAA tournament berths.
“It’s good to see them back on top,” he said.
Washington is not the only school he follows.
“You know I gotta follow the Roughriders, and I hear they’ve got a good one this year,” he said, referring to Roosevelt’s Arizona-bound senior, Marcus Williams. “I’ll definitely be watching them this year.”
John Boyle, Seattle Times