By all accounts, Anthony Edwards is a certain top three and potential No. 1 overall selection in the pandemic-delayed 2020 NBA Draft. The standout freshman guard at the University of Georgia posted impressive numbers his lone season in Athens. However, long before Edwards became a top college basketball player and NBA prospect in line to make millions, he endured great pain in multiple tragedies. Here’s a look at how dealing with that adversity changed him and made him the person and player he is today.
Anthony Edwards opts for Georgia over big-name schools
Anthony Edwards had his choice of schools following his senior year in high school, where he averaged 29 points, nine rebounds, and two assists per game during his senior year and earned USA Today All-USA first-team honors.
Edwards had offers to play for a who’s who of college basketball. Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina all tried to land the five-star recruit. Instead, the Atlanta native opted for Georgia because he wanted to stay and play close to home for a very simple reason. Family.
“My sister was pregnant with my nephew,” Edwards told ESPN’s Maria Taylor. “And I was just like, I don’t want to be putting my young little nephew on a plane everywhere to go to the games, so I’ll just stay here, and we’ll just travel to the game whenever y’all want to.”
Anthony Edwards endured multiple family tragedies
For Anthony Edwards, family isn’t just anything; it’s everything. His family consists of his older brother, Antoine, and older sister, Antoinette. While naturally close as siblings, their bond grew considerably tighter in 2015 when their mother and grandmother both died from cancer within months of each other.
“I hold my family as tight as I can because we lost our mom and grandma. So like my sister and brother, they came together, like, listen, we’re going to stick together and get through this. We just all locked in and stayed together.”
Edwards was in the eighth grade at the time of their deaths. His brother and sister gained legal custody of him and raised him.
Mom and grandmother influence him today
Anthony Edwards, the youngest of the three children, said his mom, Yvette, always treated him like the baby, and he loved it, especially when it involved his brother and sister.
“I was her favorite so I slept in the bed with her. She’ll bring me food late night when she got off work. All type of stuff like that. If I’m getting into it with my siblings, she’d be like ‘y’all don’t touch my baby.'”
Edwards said despite both of them being gone, they continue to influence him every day on and off the basketball court. He said his mother inspires him daily.
“She makes me want to be better every day that I get up. Like when I go to the gym, for instance, my trainers, they’d be like, ‘Come on, keep pushing.’ I’d be telling them, ‘Y’all ain’t gotta be telling me that. My momma and grandma keep telling me that.’
“They just raised me to always keep a smile on my face no matter what. I never let nobody bring me down no matter what’s going on in life. I always try to uplift people.”
Anthony Edwards, who has worn the number five because they both died on the fifth of the month, said on draft night, his mother and grandmother will be with him in spirit, and in a couple of pictures, he will be carrying with him. Despite their untimely deaths, their legacy lives on through a son and grandson who honors them daily on and off the basketball court.