Georgia's Teresa Edwards is Hall of Fame bound

Teresa Edwards is the only American basketball player to play in five Olympics, winning gold in four. She was drafted into the WNBA at the age of 38 and played two seasons. She played professionally overseas in five different countries. She led Georgia to two Final Fours. In June, Edwards, 45, will be honored with induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

As Georgia coach Andy Landers said at the time of the announcement, "In my mind, she ought to have her own room at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame."

Edwards, who lives in Atlanta and works for Fox Sports South covering women's basketball, spoke with the AJC on Friday. Answers were edited for length.

Q: What does induction into the Hall of Fame mean to you?

A: I’m getting old. [laughs] I guess I try to be lighthearted about these types of things. Being someone who truly enjoyed playing the sport, this one is going to be a lot of fun. I anticipate a lot of family and friends coming from across the country to be with me, so it should be a lot of fun.

Q: How is the speech coming?

A: I haven't written it down. It's too far away. I kind of do speechwriting myself anyway, so I'm hoping the emotions will write themselves. I'm not much into the politically correct statement. I'm actually into what my heart's saying, so we'll see what comes up.

Q: Can you think of a break that you got along the way that really made a difference in your career?

A: I'm truly blessed. I was very injury-free my entire career pretty much. I'm telling you, I got a dose of the good stuff from the hard core. We didn't have all the fancy equipment. We put weights on a stick and lifted it. I got a dose of the good stuff.

I don't think there was a turning point. I think I had a chance to lead in the game for a long time. When I look back on my career, I realize I was the first to do a lot of things. I was the only one to do a lot of things. That's pretty unique.

… I push myself at every turn. I would always push myself to be the best. I think that mentality made me a winner. I'll try to beat you today with these old legs.

Q: What do you want to do in the next five years?

A: I'm 45 years old, and you're talking to me like I'm 20.

Hot dog, me winning the lottery and going on a five-year vacation. I could think of a lot of great things I could do. I'll throw you a bone. You can come with me if you want.

Women's basketball players, you've got to understand, we're not rich. I don't know about kids today, but we've got to go to another career, use our degrees and get in mainstream society.

Next five years, I want to be retired with a lot of money, so find me a rich husband.

Q: Where do you keep your medals?

A: They used to fluctuate between the University of Georgia and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame for years. I've let them stay at the Hall of Fame and display them. ... I don't need them here with me. They're not going to collect dust.

Q: Is there a dollar amount you'd sell one of them for?

A: Sure, about a million apiece. You get me a buyer, they're done. It's a done deal. Are you kidding me? In this economy? Talk to me, dude.

Q: Would the Teresa Edwards of 1986 be an All-American at Georgia today?

A: You bet your bottom dollar.

Q: What's it going to take for Georgia to get back to the level of prominence it had when you played?

A: Like coach [Andy] Landers always does, he has to seek out those kids that possess the inner qualities that you can't coach, and he's got to bust some chops like he used to bust ours and not allow himself to get old. Today, that'll run the kids away.

The reason I'm not full steam ahead in trying to coach at that level is because I don't think they can take me. I'd get fired the first month. I need to get with the guys. The Hawks are still looking [for a coach]. Tell them to give me a call.