In a hot start to his final season on the St. Paul's basketball court, shooting guard Parker Edwards is
averaging 28.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and a pair of assists, including shooting an impressive 51.6 percent from the 3-point arc.
The 6-foot-3-inch Edwards recently was named to the All-Tournament squad at the Rumble on the Ridge tournament in Arkansas.
“Four-year starters on the high school basketball level in this area are quite rare,” St. Paul’s coach Stephen Dale said. “Fortunately, St. Paul’s has had a very good one in Parker Edwards. I can imagine how for the other teams in District 6-5A, they must think he has been here for 10 years.
“The impressive thing about Parker is that ... each season he has made a jump. He has been a little better each year that his high school career has progressed. He was a really good player last year. The only question is where his ceiling is going to end up being, because I don’t think he has reached it yet.”
Edwards said the finality of this season for the Wolves is sinking in.
“I sit sometimes and look back and think, 'Man, this has really flown by.' When I look back on my time and career at St. Paul’s, I think I have grown both on and off the court," he said. "I think I have become more a vocal leader, and I think I have been someone people can follow. I’m excited to be able to step into that role.
“On the court, I have also seen progress in my game. My ability to sometimes get hot and score in bunches is something that I don’t think I was really capable of my first seasons here. The game has slowed down tremendously for me and everything has gotten a lot easier. I’m able to see stuff better and even sometimes see things develop before they actually happen.”
Dale, beginning his second year as St. Paul's coach, said he's learning to work better with Edwards to benefit the team. .
“ I have a better understanding of where he gets his shots and where I can get him the ball to get better shots than I did a season ago,” Dale said. “I just understand his game so much better now. He is scoring the ball so efficiently ... The challenge now is to try and figure out our next move once opposing teams start adjusting to his game.
“(Edwards) is our best scorer. When he is on and is making shots and getting to the rim and the free throw line, it makes us much more of an explosive and dynamic team.”
As he looks to leave a lasting mark at St. Paul’s, Edwards said one of his biggest goals is to chalk up some wins in the state championships. In his previous three postseason trip, the team has won only two games.
“I tweeted out last year that I needed a state championship,” Edwards said. “Of course I would love to help this team get there, but without a doubt, our goal is to get to the state tournament and have that opportunity. That is my ultimate goal. It drives me and is the reason that I’m training as hard as I do.”