UGA legend Teresa Edwards enters Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

In case you missed it, Teresa Edwards, the legendary Georgia basketball player and Olympic gold medaliist was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night in Springfield, Mass.

Edwards will go down in history as one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time. She’s the only American basketball player to have represented her country in teh Olympics five times. Of course, she was an All-American at Georgia and led coach Andy Landers’ Bulldogs to three SEC championships and two Final Fours, including a runner-up finish in 1985.

Mike “Jiggs” Mobley of the UGA Sports Communiations office — a legendary figure himself — accompanied Edwards, Landers and a UGA entourage of dignitaries to Springfield for Friday’s ceremonies. Following is his account of the night.

Congratulations Teresa. . . .

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Teresa Edwards delivered a heart-felt and emotional induction speech to celebrate her inclusion into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night.

Upon taking the stage at Springfield’s Symphony Hall, Edwards immediately spoke to Andy Landers, her coach and mentor at the University of Georgia.

“OK, Coach Landers….I’m nervous now,” Edwards joked. “I never knew I could be here. I’m beginning to feel the prestige of the moment.”

Edwards went on to thank numerous influences.

“Tonight is about the Hall of Fame,” Edwards said. “It’s about all the women who played before I came. It’s about Lucia Harris. It’s about Lynette Woodard. It’s about the All-American Red Heads. It’s about the women who played 3-on-3 in skirts. It’s about all who played who we’ll never know their names.”

Edwards then talked about watching Julius “Dr. J” Irving and attempting to emulate his abilities on a “basketball goal” consisting of a bicycle tire nailed to a pine tree and Michael Jordan, who she called him the greatest player ever.

She then thanked her mother, Mildred, for the sacrifices she made and told the crowd that making her mother proud is what drove her the most throughout her career.

“After tonight, I’m forever changed because you recognized my name with my game,” Edwards said. “For Coach…the University of Georgia…for everyone from Cairo…we’re in the Hall of Fame, baby.”

Edwards led Cairo High School’s Syrupmaids to a state championship before helping Lady Bulldog Basketball ascend among the nation’s premier programs from 1983-86.

Edwards became a three-time All-American for Georgia, including consensus first-team honors in 1985 and 1986. She helped the Lady Bulldogs compile a 116-17 record, capture the 1983, 1984 and 1986 SEC Championships, reach the 1983 Final Four and finish as 1985 NCAA runner-up.

The summer after her sophomore year in Athens, Edwards was the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic team that won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. She went on to become the only American basketball player to participate in five Olympics, winning additional Gold in 1988, 1996 and 2000 as well as a Bronze Medal in 1992.

Ranked No. 22 overall among Sports Illustrated’s 100 greatest sportswomen of the 20th century, Edwards has now been inducted into seven halls of fame. Previously, she was inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the U.S. National High School Sports Hall of Fame, the UGA Athletic Association’s Circle of Honor, the Grady County (Ga.) Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

14 comments Add your comment

[...] Deion Sanders not too long ago in the Football Hall of Fame 2011 inductions, last night, …UGA legend Teresa Edwards enters Naismith Basketball Hall of FameAtlanta Journal Constitution [...]

[...] Rodman Enters the Hall of FameNew York TimesWill we ever see these things again?ESPNAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Los Angeles Times -USA Todayall 947 news [...]

[...] ShareThis [...]

[...] UGA legend Teresa Edwards enters Naismith Hall of Fame [...]

Cbass

August 13th, 2011
1:09 pm

women’s basketball? thats about as exciting as watching snails reproduce

cmac22

August 13th, 2011
3:05 pm

During my time in school in Athens (late 80’s – early 90’s), I used to play ALOT of basketball in the mecca that was Stegman. Theresa would come in & most guys didn’t have a clue who she was. It was always fun to watch the teams get picked, & she would be one of the last selected. It was even funner to then watch her DOMINATE everybody on the court!

Congratulations to Theresa Edwards. She deserves this honor as much as anybody in the Hall of Fame.

So What

August 13th, 2011
3:29 pm

And Dr. Meyer was our 10th grade chemistry teacher….

Jim Ellis

August 13th, 2011
5:51 pm

One fine Syrupmaker! Way to go Teresa

mp

August 14th, 2011
7:49 am

Cbass should remove the “b” from his name to better depict him or herself. Women’s basketball is great sports entertainment. Unlike the NBA, the women play defense

Teresa Edwards is an amazing athlete and person. Hall of Famer in every way. Congratulations for an honor well deserved. All Georgians should be proud of Teresa for representing us with such determination, grace and skill.

dd

August 14th, 2011
9:09 am

Theresa would make Cbass look like a shrimp.

BOSS GATOR

August 14th, 2011
4:07 pm

Congratulations Ms. Edwards….Very deserving for an exceptional Lady……

Joe Dog

August 14th, 2011
7:50 pm

Cbass,

You’ve missed the point and I know I’m arguing with a snail, but…..

It’s different basketball, it’s no less basketball; it’s more pass oriented, there’s more personal skill involved. Sometimes it’s more fun to watch. Yes, it’s slower, but the women played with a shot clock, what, twenty years before the men figured it out. In the men’s game, one man can change the dynamics of a team and you don’t see that with women’s basketball. With the women it’s a team dynamic and not a personal dynamic. That’s why Ms. Edwards didn’t/couldn’t win it all at Georgia, was because she didn’t have the supporting cast. She was great and they double-covered her and she couldn’t throw the ball to anybody else.

But when Ms. Edwards was surrounded by the athletes she needed, she kicked ass. And what have you done?

ugab

August 14th, 2011
8:39 pm

Congrats Teresa Edwards. From your home town. Cairo, ga. We love you!

Beth

August 17th, 2011
9:07 am

Teresa Edwards is one of the classiest people that I have ever met and all of Georgia should be honored and proud that she represents our state so well. She was a senior at UGA when I was a freshman and I remember watching her play and being amazed at what she could do on the basketball court. I have followed her career from Athens, to Europe, all of the U.S. national teams, the Olympics, the ABL, and the WNBA and I have always been proud that she represented my state and my school. She has been an ambassador around the world for the game of basketball, for the state of Georgia, and for UGA, all while carrying herself with honor, class, and a humble spirit that I wish more people had. She’s an amazing athlete, without an ounce of arrogance, very gracious and kind to everyone she meets. Congratulations, Teresa!! You deserve every honor that you receive!