WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky (4/24/13) - Kolbi Edens becomes another in the long list of Lady Trojans that will take their basketball talents to the collegiate level.
The WCHS senior signed a letter of intent to play basketball and golf for Oakland City University beginning next fall.
Edens, an honor student, helped lead Webster County to 23 victories last season.
She was quick to explain the reasoning to move on to the next level with her basketball career ... she wasn’t ready to quit playing.
“I was devastated when we lost in the regional tournament. I knew right then ... that night ... that I wanted to continue to play basketball and move on to the college game. I just couldn’t end my basketball career on such a disappointing loss,” Edens stated. “I think my best basketball is ahead of me and I really feel like I can earn some playing time as a freshman at Oakland City.”
Edens, who plans to major in Biology and hopes to become a Physical Therapist, stated that she had seen the Lady Oaks play several times last year and she liked their style of play.
“They get after it, especially on the offensive end, and I like that. I know I have lots to work on but I think I can play at that level,” she added. “Plus the school is close to home and that was very, very important to me. I like the small town atmosphere of Oakland City and it’s very close to Evansville and that’s where my aunt lives.”
Oakland City plays mainly National Amateur Intercollegiate Association (NAIA) competition but also battles area Division 1 and Division II schools. The bulk of their schedule is against Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Association (KIAC) colleges including Brescia, Spalding, Asbury and Midway. The Lady Oaks finished last season with a 13-13 record, falling to Grace College in the opening round of the National Christian College Athletic Association Regional Tournament in Winona Lake, IN.
“I saw them play some really good teams and then I saw them play and win. So I got a good taste of all of their competition and I believe I really fit in with the other girls and the Oakland City style of basketball,” Edens continued. “I look forward to the challenge and to be able to really concentrate just on basketball, I think I can get better and better. I’m really looking forward to see how far I can go with lots and lots of work.”
She also agreed to join the Lady Oaks golf team, a squad that only returns one player from last year and currently two signees.
“I like golf because it's fun and when they (OC) mentioned it, I thought I would take the opportunity to play,” said Edens.
Webster County first-year head coach Parker McCalister was quick to praise his senior guard. And while she signed her scholarship letter in front of her Lady Trojan teammates, he pointed to her character on and off the floor that made her a team leader and a player who can succeed at the next level.
“Kolbi is a good, good person and not only are we going to miss her as a player, but also as a great person and great example for the rest of our team for how you’re suppose to act and carry yourself both on and off the floor,” McCalister stated. “That’s her biggest asset. It’s a great day for our progam ... all these younger girls standing here watching this (signing) and maybe realizing that hard work on the floor and in the classroom as well as just being a good person will be rewarded.”
The WCHS coach said that he has had several discussions with Edens about what it would takes to be successful at the collegiate level.
“I think if she goes up there with the attitude of ‘earning’ playing time and not just expecting to play as soon as she walks onto the campus, then she’ll be successful,” McCalister continued. “Kolbi became probably our best defender by the end of the season and I think she can get on the floor at Oakland City by just playing strong defense. I watched several of their games and that’s not a strong part of their game. They like to score the ball but they don’t focus on the defensive end as much as we try to do here. And I think she can go up there right now and be one of the best defensive players they have.”
But McCalister emphasized that the ‘off-the-floor’ attitude is what helps her as much as anything.
“You know she’s gonna go to class, you know she’s not gonna be out doing things at night that would cause problems and you know she’s going to be excellent in the classroom. I’m just so thrilled that she’s going to get this opportunity,” he added. “You know, only two percent of high school athletes go on to play a sport in college, at any level. Kolbi is part of that two percent and I so excited for her.”
So as soon as the WCHS softball season comes to a close this spring, Edens can begin to focus her energy on basketball and competing at the college level. And that’s just fine with her.
“I can’t imagine not playing basketball, I think I would really get bored if I just went to college and didn’t play a sport,” Edens said with a grin.
And she also had plenty of good words for her family, coaches and teammates.
“Webster County High School is like family and I’ll never forget the great moments and all the great players I’ve played with. It’s a special place to me,” she concluded.
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