There are many young basketball players in Connecticut who dream of someday playing at UConn. Sadie Edwards was no different growing up in Meriden.
Edwards was 6-years-old when she first became enamored with the Huskies. UConn was her dream school. The only question was would she work hard enough and develop her game enough to put herself in a position to earn a scholarship offer.
Edwards, a 5-foot-10 junior point guard, did everything she needed to. And Tuesday she realized her goal when she verbally committed to UConn.
“It means everything,’’ Edwards said. “I wouldn’t picture it to be better any other way. It’s such a great feeling, but there’s no room for complacency. I’m just so glad and so happy and so fortunate and thankful to be where I am because I know how hard I’ve worked for this. But it’s not just about getting there. It’s about being successful there, and I know that I’ll have to work even harder now. But I’m ready to embrace that challenge. I know that going there I’ll be challenged every day. So I’m looking forward to it.’’
Edwards becomes the second member of the Class of 2014 to make a pledge to the Huskies, joining Courtney Ekmark, a 6-foot guard from Phoenix.
“They’re really about togetherness and playing for each other,’’ Edwards said. “They don’t focus on individual things or individual aspects. Their main objective is just winning and I think that’s very important. And I think they make everybody feel like they have a significant role in contributing to the wins.’’
Along with her mother, Lisa, Edwards made another unofficial visit to UConn Monday. She watched practice at Gampel Pavilion and viewed the NCAA tournament selection show.
Edwards, who also attended the UConn-Seton Hall game at Gampel Pavilion Feb. 23, informed UConn coach Geno Auriemma of her decision Tuesday.
“It’s the only fit,’’ Lisa Edwards said. “She wants to win and they win.’’
Edwards was also drawing interest from numerous schools, notably Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame, Penn State and Tennessee.
Edwards began her high school career at Mercy High in Middletown before transferring to Nazareth High in New York last season to play for the late Apache Paschall. She is currently attending Blair Academy in New Jersey.
“It was always my goal to be playing at the highest possible level,’’ Edwards said. “And I think to be at UConn is kind of like … There’s like a different level of elite to be able to play at UConn. I think it’s a very hard thing, but it’s always been one of my goals. Luckily, for me, I’ve had people around me that have supported me and have given me the guidance that I’ve needed and have shown me how hard I need to work and have shown me what I need to work on and helped me better myself on and off the court and helped me become a better leader and smarter and know the game more so that I can be a better player.’’
Edwards’ career has taken her to various locales. But, make no mistake about it, she is delighted to have the chance to play close to home in college.
“It’s very, very, very important,’’ Edwards said. “I’m very, very close to my family and it’s just ideal for me to be so close to home and for them to see me play at the college level. It’s going to be nice to be back home for college and is just happens to be like the biggest stage that I’ve ever played on.’’