The incredible personal journey of Simone Edwards took her from an impoverished and gang-infested community in Kingston, Jamaica, to becoming the first Jamaican player signed to the WNBA.


As a high school senior, Edwards was offered a full scholarship to an American college – but only if she learned to play basketball. Frequently referred to as the “Jamaican Hurricane,” Edwards is famous in the WNBA for her fan-favorite “Shimmy Shake” and her record as one of the top rebounders in the world.

She first garnered attention on the court during junior college, at Seminole State College in Seminole, Oklahoma, leading the team to an undefeated conference record, ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association Top 10. During her tenure, she was the recipient of several top sports awards and became the First Kodak All-American in the school’s history. Edwards’ junior college success carried over to her time as team co-captain at Division I the University of Iowa.

Upon graduating, Edwards was signed to the WNBA New York Liberty during the 1997 inaugural season, becoming the first Jamaican signed to the WNBA. Throughout her trailblazing career, she gained international prominence as a basketball star in Italy, Hungary, Israel, and Spain leading teams to championships including the Israeli Cup and the Spanish Copa de la Reina. In 2000, she signed with the Seattle Storm’s inaugural team, and founded Simone4Children to uplift and educate children in Jamaica, ultimately becoming a WNBA champion.

Edwards announced her retirement after a six-year career with the Seattle Storm in 2006, retiring as the longest-tenured member on the original Storm roster. Post-retirement, Edwards was selected to represent her home country as team captain on the Jamaica Basketball Women’s National Team, winning the country’s first-ever gold medal at the 2006 Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship. In 2014, she returned to the team as head coach, winning yet another gold medal at the championship.

Edwards is a member of the Seattle Storm All-Decade Team and the Seattle Storm Legend Fraternity. Simone is a motivational speaker and the author of UNSTOPPABLE, a memoir of adversity, perseverance and triumph. In 2015, she starred in the award-winning documentary feature film Coming Back to the Hoop, coaching senior women to the Senior National Basketball Championship. Inspired by the bullying she endured from childhood to college, in 2015, she also launched The Anti-Bully Projectas a champion in the fight against bullying worldwide, and most recently launched GIRLS UNTAPPED.

In 2017, the Jamaican government bestowed her with the Order of Distinction award for her outstanding contribution to Jamaica's Women National Basketball. Since 2017, Simone has been the National Spokeswoman for Caribbean American Heritage Month.




CAREER HIGHIGHTS
2019: Voted Top 10 Fan Favorite on Seattle Storm 20th Anniversary Team

2019: Received Proclamation from the Atlanta City Council for Contributions and Advocacy for Women Sports

2018: Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation Honor for Commitment to Community Service and Philanthropy

2017: Conferred National Order of Distinction Award by Jamaican Government

2016: Selected NCAA Women’s Basketball Ambassador

2014: Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship – Gold Medal (Head Coach)

2010: Immaculate Conception High School Alumnae Association, New York Chapter Ad Astra Award for Philanthropy

2007: Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach – Radford University NCAA Division I (2007-08)

2006: Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship, Jamaica Basketball Women’s National Team – Gold Medal (Team Captain)

2005: Inducted in Seminole State College Hall of Fame

2005: The Women’s Day Award from International Women’s Day Committee (Italy)

2004: Won WNBA Championship – Seattle Storm

2000: Signed to Seattle Storm Inaugural WNBA Team

1997: Signed to New York Liberty WNBA Team / 1997: Became the First Jamaican WNBA Player

1993: Recruited to University of Iowa NCAA Division I
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