Despite the new G-League option and a Select Contract worth as much as $125,000 a season, Edwards intends to take the traditional college route.
“It’s not hard (to turn down the G-League money),” Edwards said. “You can only struggle for so long.”
In late December, he announced his college finalists — Florida State, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina. He has two official visits this week to Kentucky and Kansas and intends to visit the remaining finalists during the next month. Two weeks after his final visit, his plans to announce his verbal commitment.
Although all signs point to him being a one-and-done, he wouldn’t say as much.
“I’m not really thinking about that,” he said.
Edwards originally was a class of 2019 student at Therrell High, but dropped back to the class of 2020 before transferring to Holy Spirit for the 2017-18 school year to concentrate on academics. Holy Spirit competes the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA), the private league. After improving his GPA and test scores, Edwards reclassified to the 2019 class in December, sending college recruiters scurrying to his door.
The main reason he’s so highly regarded by scouts and considered a next-level star is his scoring ability. He’s averaging 25.2 points for Holy Spirit, with 9.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals. The Cougars have played GHSA powerhouses McEachern, Pebblebrook, Wheeler and Westlake, which are four teams ranked in the highest classification. They beat Westlake 72-61 and lost 76-68 to Wheeler in overtime.
Holy Spirit first-year coach Tysor Anderson, grandson of Basketball Hall of Fame coach Lefty Dreisell, said scoring comes naturally to Edwards. Anderson ranks him with some of the best high school basketball players he has ever seen, including former South Gwinnett standout Lou Williams, now in his 14th NBA season.
“He’s definitely the best player I’ve coached,” said Anderson, who coached two seasons at South Gwinnett before going to Holy Spirit. “When you watch him, the first thing you notice is how easy it is for him to score. He’s as explosive as anyone in the country. One of the things you can notice off the bat with big-time talents is how softly they finish around the rim with touch, which always gives it a chance to go in. He’s a great finisher with is right or left hand, off his left or right or both feet. That’s how easy it is for him to score.”
Anderson, who was as a walk-on for Georgia Tech during the Paul Hewitt era, played with two "one-in-dones," Javaris Crittenton and Derrick Favors, and believes Edwards possesses the same drive that got those players to the NBA.
“As far as work ethic and approach to the game, he shares those qualities with some of the best players at that age that I’ve seen,” Anderson said.
Before college or the NBA, Edwards is trying to guide the Cougars to a third consecutive GISA Class AAA championship.
“I’m trying to win a state title,” he said. “That’s first. Then, from there, I want to make a great decision on college and work hard.”