Friday, May 14th, 2021

#ThePostUp Podcast 5/20/16: Seattle Storm original Simone Edwards on her amazing journey from Jamaica to the WNBA

Published on May 20, 2016



Click here to subscribe to the podcast with your feed reader or podcast app. Also available on iTunes and Google Play Music.

Taped Monday, May 20, 2016

Known as the Jamaican Hurricane by die-hard WNBA fans, Simone Edwards is a pioneer in women’s basketball. She entered the league as a developmental player for the New York Liberty during the league’s inaugural season, picked out during a tryout of over 300 athletes. She was the first-ever Jamaican player in the league. The next season she arrived in Seattle to be a key player in the franchise’s first season under legendary coach Lin Dunn.

She quickly become a fan favorite, not just with Seattle fans, but with followers of the league around the nation. She was a part of the squad gave the franchise its first championship in 2004.

But before Edwards arrived the league, she was a promising track and field athlete as a teenager in Jamaica when she was spotted by former Oklahoma coach Gary Hudson. She had never played basketball before or even knew what the sport entailed. However, she left her home in the Caribbean and landed at Seminole State College in Oklahoma to have a standout junior college career.

Seminole State’s coach Brad Walck knew Edwards was a phenom when she arrived. He recounted her time in Oklahoma for a Storm tribute when she retired.

“I traveled to Jamaica in the summer of 1991 and signed 16-year-old Simone Edwards to a basketball scholarship to attend Seminole Junior College in Seminole, Oklahoma. Although Simone had little experience playing basketball when she arrived on campus, she worked hard and had the natural talent to become a Second Team All-American her freshmen year. In her sophomore season, she was named First Team NJCAA All-American and she was also named as the first Kodak All-American in our school’s history that season. Simone is now in Seminole State College’s Hall of Fame. I am so proud of Simone. Many years ago I knew I had a special athlete, but I did not know she would accomplish all that she has. Most of all she is a beautiful human being that has made many people’s lives more fulfilling because they have known her.”

After leaving Oklahoma, she landed at Iowa under C. Vivian Stringer. Edwards has also played overseas in Spain and Israel. Off the court, Edwards is anti-bullying advocate and has also been instrumental in helping to bring basketball opportunities to youngsters in Jamaica.

On the podcast she discusses several topics including:

  • Her Jamaican roots and being a poor student-athlete in the United States
  • How she managed to improve her basketball skills so quickly
  • Her career with the Storm and playing with greats such as Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird
  • Her appreciation for Seattle Storm fans
  • Her thoughts on Candace Parker being left off of the Rio Games U.S. senior national team
  • Her plans to write a memoir and her other current projects





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