Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
PHILADELPHIA – One of the fastest rising young stars in the Class of 2010 is Paterson Catholic junior forward Fuquan Edwin.
At the recent Reebok All-American Camp, Edwin was named to the Underclassmen All-Star Game — where he had a vicious putback dunk in transition — and also reached the Championship Game of the event,. Despite playing alongside Renardo Sidney, Edwin’s Answer XII team lost, 70-66, to Pump Omni in the final.
“He’s a good player,” the 6-10 Sidney, one of the top players in the Class of 2009, said of Edwin. “He’s a great team player. He’s energetic. He’s a defensive stopper. I love him, man. I wish he could play for my AAU team because we need players like that.”
The 6-foot-5 Edwin competes for the Playaz Basketball Club and holds offers from Rutgers and Seton Hall and says he has interest from Kansas, USC, Marquette and Providence.
“It’s too early for me right now to make my decision,” Edwin said. “I’m still looking.”
Edwin was a breakout star during his freshman year at Paterson Catholic, but admitted that he regressed a bit last year, when the Cougars won the Passaic County championship and fell to eventual Tournament of Champions winner St. Anthony in the Non-Public North B playoffs. Edwin’s rebounding totals declined and he seemed less aggressive around the basket.
“To be honest, my sophomore year I kind of slacked off a little bit because I probably thought I was too much because my freshman year I did good,” Edwin said. “I thought it over, then I started working harder. I just know I wasn’t doing good in my games and stuff. Then I decided to take over and be a captain.”
After talks with PC coaches Damon Wright and Jebari Spencer, Edwin has changed his approach. He says he’s working on “containing” his man this summer, so he can defend shooting guards and small forwards on the perimeter.
He has always been a tremendous scorer and finisher. Recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski once said, “Fuquan Edwin scores like we breath.”
The Cougars lost point guard Jordan Theodore to Seton Hall, but return five talented juniors — Edwin, Shaquille Thomas, Jayon James, Trevor Clemmings and Jermaine Peart — as well as senior wing Lance Brown (Fordham), sophomore point guard Myles Mack and incoming freshman point guard Kyle Anderson, who may be the best floor general on the team.
“I think we’re going to be good,” Edwin said. “WE just have to play hard and play defense. If we do that, we can win a lot of games.”
PC had hoped to play a national independent schedule, but that will not happen until at least the 2009-10 season. Still, the Cougars will play Lance Stephenson and Lincoln as well as Oak Hill Academy in the PrimeTime Shootout.
Once the season begins, Edwin will have a chance to show how much he has rededicated himself.
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.