Capt. Kennedy Edwards, 434th Field Artillery Brigade, has had a passion for basketball that began at the age of six and now that he’s transitioning out of the Army, he’s ready pursue a professional basketball career in the National Basketball Association’s G League.
“I always had this inner voice that was like, ‘Maybe you could play professionally.’ There was always that thought and that urge,” he said. “Five years later after playing for college I still have that same belief. I’m still young enough to play and I still have that passion.”
In high school Edwards received an offer to play at West Point, which he accepted, and it changed the course of his life.
“Obviously, you have to balance school, the military side and then your sport. It was really challenging. I had to set my priorities straight and stay really organized because a laid-back approach would kind of bite me,” he said. “My freshman year I struggled with my grades, and I had to really work double time to balance everything out. That inspired me to go harder and to really do the best that I could.”
After college Edwards would represent the Great Place on the All-Army Basketball team.
“All-Army was amazing,” he said. “Just being able to see the talent across the military, not just Army, but across the whole military. It was honestly like college in terms of the competitiveness and the structure of it.”
Playing basketball at West Point and on the All-Army level taught him self-discipline that made him and even better Soldier.
“When you play a sport at that level you can’t just play it like it’s rec ball. You have to really take it seriously. You have to have your priorities straight with taking care of your body, taking care of your mind and being mentally focused. If you’re mentally focused with your sport you’ll be mentally focused at your job,” he said. “It taught me responsibility, how to be focused and being a team player. In the Army you’re working with multiple people, and you have to work with multiple (different) personalities.”
On the flip side, being a Soldier has prepared him to be a leader on the court and he hopes that he can share his experience on a G League team.
“With the G League I really want to put my best foot forward and stay as hard working as I can. I’m going to have to be a leader and communicate with multiple people. I really want to translate my Army side to the professional (basketball) side and stand out in that way,” he explained. “Hopefully, I can translate everything that I’ve learned in the Army into being the best player I can be.”