Teresa Edwards: Rookie in Name Only

by Nicole Ellis

Edwards had eight points and five assists in her WNBA regular-season debut.
David Sherman, WNBAE/Getty Images
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Teresa Edwards is the John Stockton of the WNBA. Or, perhaps John Stockton is the Teresa Edwards of the NBA. Either way, both are pure point guards who love to dish the basketball. The only difference is that Edwards is a 38-year-old rookie.

With the 14th overall pick in this year's WNBA Draft, the Lynx selected Edwards. So technically she's a rookie, but she's far from inexperienced. Her years of experience began at the University of Georgia, where she made four NCAA Tournament appearances. After graduating from Georgia in 1986, Edwards played professional ball overseas for nine years.

She is also a seasoned veteran in the ranks of USA Basketball. Edwards has competed and won medals in five Olympics, becoming the only American basketball player (male or female) to do so. Her basketball background includes many other international tournaments, including the Goodwill Games and the Pan American Games. As a founding member of the ABL, Edwards averaged 20.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists playing for the Philadelphia Rage and Atlanta Glory during the league's three-year existence. That's quite an impressive resume for a rookie who's ready to take on the challenges of the WNBA.

During the 2003 preseason, Edwards played a solid 43 minutes, averaging 7.7 points and 3.3 assists per game. Her short time in Minnesota hasn't given her a feel yet for the league.

"I'm not feeling anything about the WNBA," Edwards said. "I feel everything about my team right now. Basketball — that's all I really want to feel right now."

While with the ABL's Glory, Edwards had a brief stint as a player/head coach. The demands of the position were enough to end her coaching career after one season. Edwards has not put a future in coaching out of her game plans.

"I think coaching is a different beast to deal with," explains Edwards. "I'm glad I've had a little experience to carry over and understand what I'd be getting into if I ever do decide (to become a coach)."

But luckily for the Lynx, Edwards is now focused on her role as a player.