June 17, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- Former Georgia Lady Bulldog Teresa Edwards, the most decorated basketball player in Olympic history, will be enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame this Wednesday in ceremonies in Mies, Switzerland.
"What can I say? It took me all around the world," Edwards said. "Now the FIBA Hall of Fame is calling me home to stay forever. Who in their right mind wouldn't be excited about this?"
Edwards helped the U.S. win four gold medals and a bronze in her five Olympics from 1984-2000, making her the most decorated Olympic basketball player ever. Oscar Schmidt of Brazil and Andrew Gaze of Australia played in five Olympics but never won a medal. Edwards also holds the unique distinction of being both the youngest and oldest women's basketball player to ever win Olympic gold.
Edwards is among 12 members of the 2013 FIBA Hall of Fame class. Other inductees include: players Jean-Jacques Conceiçao (Angola), Andrew Gaze (Australia), Paula Gonçalves (Brazil), David Robinson (USA) and Zoran Slavnic (Serbia); coaches John 'Jack' Donohue (Canada), Cesare Rubini (Italy) and Pat Summitt (USA); technical officials Valentin Lazarov (Bulgaria) and Costas Rigas (Greece); and contributor Aldo Vitale (Italy).
"These are great personalities who have experienced great success on and off the court, but who also stand out for the character they have shown and for the countless efforts they have made to help promote our sport," said FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann.
A native of Cairo, Ga., Edwards burst onto the national scene in In the summer of 1981. She became the youngest women's basketball player ever invited to compete in a USA Basketball national tournament when she represented the South team at the National Sports Festival. That began a long and unparalleled career representing the United States on the hardwood.
Edwards enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at the University of Georgia. She helped lead the Lady Bulldogs to their first-ever NCAA Final Four as a freshman in 1983, an NCAA runner-up finish in 1985 and SEC Championships in 1983, 1984 and 1986. Edwards was a two-time All-American and finished her collegiate career with 1,989 points, 653 assists and 342 steals. Georgia compiled a 116-17 record during her four seasons in Athens.
Edwards' illustrious international career with USA Basketball began while she was at UGA. She won her first Olympic gold medal in 1984 in Los Angeles during the summer following her sophomore year in Athens. Sixteen years later, she captured her final gold medal as co-captain of the 2000 U.S. in Sydney. In Olympic competition, Edwards remains the United States' all-time career leader in assists (143) and steals (59) and also is third in points (265) and 10th in rebounds (68).
Edwards also won FIBA World Championships with the U.S. in 1986 and 1990, as well as a bronze in 1994. Edwards is the United States' all-time leading scorer in FIBA Championships play with 175 points, including the single-game record of 32 points in triumphs over both Canada and Cuba in 1990.
Edwards launched her professional career in 1987 with Vicenza in Italy and went on to play all over Europe and as far away as Japan. In 2002, Edwards captured a EuroLeague crown with Valensiennes of France.
The Hall of Fame is located at the House of Basketball – FIBA's headquarters in Mies, on the outskirts of Geneva. The enshrinement ceremony will be held in the Naismith Arena, an exhibition and event area at the facility. The 2013 class is the fourth inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame. Edwards and Robinson will become the fifth and sixth American basketball players included in the hall, following Bill Russell and Ann Meyers in 2007, Oscar Robertson in 2009 and Cheryl Miller in 2010.
Edwards is being inducted into her eighth hall of fame. In succession, she has previously been enshrined in UGA's all-sports Circle of Honor in 1995, the State of Georgia's Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, the Grady County (Ga.) Sports Hall of Game in 2009, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2009, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2011.
FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, is an independent association formed by 213 National federations of basketball throughout the world and is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The abbreviation 'FIBA' derives from the French 'Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur'. The Word 'Amateur' was dropped in 1986 after the distinction between amateurs and professionals was eliminated; however, the 'A' in FIBA remained as tradition and also because of the 'BA' is the beginning of the sport's name.