Wed | Oct 4, 2023

Former national basketballer Simone Edwards is dead

Published:Thursday | February 16, 2023 | 9:05 PMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter -
Simone Edwards
Simone Edwards

Former Jamaican basketballer Simone Edwards, who became the first Jamaican player to compete in the WNBA in the United States of America, has died.

Edwards died today after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. She was 49.

An American basketball coach first scouted Edwards despite her not playing the sport in high school. She made her mark in junior college at Seminole State, Oklahoma, becoming the first All American in school history, before moving to the University of Iowa, where she led them in field goal percentage during the 1996-1997 season.

In 1997 Edwards was picked as a developmental player for New York Liberty in the WNBA for three years but failed to play in any match until she joined the expansion franchise, Seattle Storm in 2000.

She would be the only player featured in every game of the franchise’s first six seasons, winning a WNBA title in 2004. Nicknamed the Jamaican Hurricane, she would retire from the WNBA in 2006 as the team's all-time leader in rebounds, games and minutes.

She also played professionally in Europe and Israel.

She coached Jamaica's national women's team to the Caribbean Championships in 2014 and had assistant coaching stints at the collegiate level at Radford University and George Mason University.

Edwards was conferred with the Order of Distinction in 2017.

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