Upon graduating, Edwards was signed to the WNBA New York Liberty during the 1997 inaugural season, becoming the first Caribbean and first Jamaican player. She gained international prominence as a basketball star in Italy, Hungary, Israel, and Spain leading teams to championships including the Israeli Cup and the Spanish Copa de la Reina. In 2000, she signed with the Seattle Storm’s inaugural team, ultimately becoming a WNBA champion in 2004.
Edwards announced her retirement after a six-year career with the Seattle Storm in 2006, retiring as the longest-tenured member on the original Storm roster. Post-retirement, Edwards was selected to represent her home country as team captain on the Jamaica Basketball Women’s National Team, winning the country’s first-ever gold medal at the 2006 Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship. In 2014, she returned to the team as head coach, winning yet another gold medal at the championship.
Edwards is a member of the Seattle Storm All-Decade Team and the Seattle Storm Legend Fraternity, and she was named an NCAA Women’s Basketball Ambassador. In 2015, she starred in the award-winning documentary feature film Coming Back to the Hoop, coaching senior women to the Senior National Basketball Championship. As part of her lifetime commitment to philanthropy and community service, she founded Simone4Children Foundation to uplift and educate children in Kingston, and inspired by the bullying she experienced from childhood to college, she also created The Anti-Bully Project as a champion in the fight against bullying worldwide.
The 6’4” former center is the first Jamaican player to be signed to the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).
The incredible personal journey of Simone Edwards took her from an impoverished and gang-infested village in Kingston, Jamaica, to become the first Jamaican player signed to the WNBA.
As a high school senior, Edwards was offered a full scholarship to an American college – but only if she learned to play basketball. Frequently referred to as the “Jamaican Hurricane,” Edwards is famous in the WNBA for her fan-favorite “Shimmy Shake” and her record as one of the top rebounders in the world.
She first garnered attention on the court during junior college, at Seminole State College in Seminole, Oklahoma, leading the team to an undefeated conference record, ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association Top 10. During her tenure, she was the recipient of several top sports awards and became the First Kodak All-American in the school’s history. Edwards’ junior college success carried over to her time as team co-captain at Division I University of Iowa.
1993: Regional Player of the Year, MVP, NJCAA All-American First Team, Seminole State College
1993: First Kodak All-American in school’s history, Seminole State College
1993: Recruited to University of Iowa NCAA Division I
1997: WNBA First Jamaican Player
1997: Signed to New York Liberty WNBA Team
1997: First-Ever WNBA Game w/ New York Liberty
2000: Signed to Seattle Storm Inaugural WNBA Team
2004: WNBA Championship – Seattle Storm
2005: Inducted in Seminole State College Hall of Fame
2005: The Women’s Day Award from International Women’s Day Committee (Italy)
2006: All-Time Leader in Games Played (93), Minutes (2,149) & Rebounds (405)
2006: Second in Seattle Storm History in Most Points Scored (676)
2006: Retired from Seattle Storm as last original player on the inaugural Storm roster
2006: Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship, Jamaica Basketball Women’s National Team – Gold Medal (Team Captain)
2007: Most Points Scored Award for Federation of International Basketball (FIBA)
2007: Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach – Radford University NCAA Division I (2007-08)
2008: Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach – George Mason University NCAA Division I (2008-2011)
2010: Member of the Seattle Storm All-Decade Team
2010: Immaculate Conception High School Alumnae Association, New York Chapter Ad Astra Award for Philanthropy 2010: Caribbean Lifestyle Honor for Lifetime Achievement Award
2010: Centrobasket Championship – Silver Medal (Head Coach)
2010: Central American and Caribbean Games – Bronze Medal (Head Coach)
2010: RJR Sports Foundation Special Award recognizing contribution to development of Women’s Basketball
2014: Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship – Gold Medal (Head Coach)
2015: RJR Sports Foundation Merit Award
2014: Member of the Seattle Storm Legend Fraternity
2015: Starred in Award-Winning Documentary Feature Film "Coming Back To The Hoop"
2015: Founded The Anti-Bully Project
2015: Featured on BRAVO Real Housewives of Atlanta
2016: Selected NCAA Women’s Basketball Ambassador
2017: Co-founded Diverse Writers Room
2017: Selected as National Spokesperson for Caribbean American Heritage Month
2017: Published Unstoppable: A Memoir of Adversity, Perseverance & Triumph
2017: Conferred National Order of Distinction Award by Jamaican Government
2018: Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation Honor for Commitment to Community Service and Philanthropy
Simone Edwards | Motivational Speaker and WNBA Champion. © 2017. All rights reserved.
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