Written and Media by Sara Dawson.
Swade Edwards is a Greenville University Basketball Player. Edwards is a 23-year-old Junior transfer from Oakland, California. He graduated from Castlemont High School in 2012. When asked about his future, Edwards said,
“After basketball and school, I plan to be successful. I want to give back to my community in a positive way and offer young children growing up opportunities to better themselves and become great people. My community is what made me who I am today. If it was not for the city of Oakland I would be a totally different person. Although a lot of negative things come from and happen around Oakland, I feel that when my journey as a collegiate athlete is over, It is my job to dedicate myself to my city in order to make it a better place.”
Edwards went on about his inspiration in life and how what made him start basketball was his dad. “My dad is my biggest inspiration when it comes to playing basketball. Since the age of two, he installed the sport into my life, with mini hoops in my room and small basketballs to carry around as a child. In high school, my dad also was a basketball player but suffered a lot of injuries which enabled him to continue in the sport. I made it my ultimate goal and mission to allow him to live his athletic dreams through my success. He brought me up as an athlete by teaching me the rights and wrongs in basketball. From dribbling to playing defensive, my dad is the reason why I play the sport every day.”
College Sports Career
This is Edward’s first year playing basketball at Greenville. Before he came to Greenville he played basketball at West Valley College. Edwards mentioned, “After graduating in 2012, I hadn’t received any offers to continue my basketball career. I thought that it was over for me. I began working and got used to having a steady income. I worked 4 jobs within the span of a year at the age of 18 before I decided to email all junior college coaches in Northern California. I realized that I wasn’t ready to stop playing the sport that I love. After three days of consistent emails, the head coach from West Valley College contacted me and offered me an opportunity to try out for his team. From that moment on I realized that my journey as a basketball player was not over. At West Valley I was able to start all games as my freshman year. I averaged ten points and four rebounds as a freshman. Although the team had a rough season, it felt good to participate at the collegiate level. During my sophomore year, I was the captain of the team and was a major contribution to the team success.”
High School Sports Career
When Edwards was in high school he played for Castlemont for four years. Edwards stated,
“As a high school student-athlete the odds were against me. Being an African American male in Oakland, CA, we as a community are looked down upon. It is unusual to see us successful. People were negative towards me [and that] lowered my self esteem. Basketball kept me out of trouble and off the violent streets. If it wasn’t for basketball I might not be here today. Distractions are a common reason why most kids from Oakland California don’t make it out. The life of being in a gang, making money, drugs, and girls is what a teenager faces on an everyday basis in Oakland. It takes a strong mental person to be able to turn in the opposite direction and better your life. Basketball was an important guidance tool all through my four high school years. With it, I was able to see the world. The basketball took me places where I never thought that I would have seen before. As a high school student, I traveled to Germany, Las Vegas, Reno, Tahoe, LA, Arizona, and a bunch of other states and cities. Basketball changed my life.”
Swade Edwards is doing such a great job here at Greenville playing basketball. Make sure to come out to the Varsity Boy’s games and watch.