June 14, 2019 5:51 pm

Kingston’s shining star, Aaliyah Edwards suits up for Team Canada

A Kingston athlete is getting set to shine on the international stage former Frontenac Falcon - Aayliah Edwards was selected to play for the Canadian women's national basketball team as it heads overseas for its European summer tour. Paul Soucy catches up with the athlete and those who helped her along the way.

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Kingston’s Aaliyah Edwards is a standout basketball player. Her list of accomplishments already includes: OFSAA champion, playing for Team Ontario, playing for Team Canada at the FIBA U-17s, and now the Canadian National Women’s Team.

“The sky’s the limit for her and I’m so proud to have coached her,” Karlyn Pixley said.

Pixley coached Edwards during the Frontenac Falcons’ 2017 OFSAA Basketball Championship.

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The 17-year-old Edwards was selected to Team Canada’s National Women’s Team for a European exhibition tour in Belgium and Great Britain. She is one of only two high-school aged players to make the squad. The rest play at the collegiate or professional level.

READ MORE: ‘Aaliyah can absolutely be an Olympian one day’: U17 Women’s World Cup just a stepping stone for Edwards

“I see most of these girls as mentors for me, in my future,” Edwards said during a phone interview from Belgium where she was preparing to take on team China on Friday.

“I’ve been asking a lot of questions. But it’s great. It’s a bit intimidating at first but they’ve welcomed me and I feel comfortable, so comfortable right now.”

But her rapid success is no surprise to her former coaches at Frontenac Secondary School.

Both David Steel and Karlyn Pixley knew they had a special player as soon as she stepped on the court.

“She just quietly demonstrated the characteristics of a leader. Working the hardest of any player on the team. Never interested in the limelight, just interested in the success of the team and getting better.” David Steel said of Edwards, who quickly drew comparisons to Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard.

“There’s a lot of parallels there for sure,” he added.

READ MORE: Kingston’s Aaliyah Edwards continues to make a name for herself on the hard court

No longer officially a Falcon, although she still considers herself one, Edwards has since moved on to play ball at Crestwood Preparatory School in the GTA, and is being heavily recruited by NCAA schools for the 2020 season.

“We have a lot of schools who are still contacting us here, even though she doesn’t attend here anymore, who are interested in her playing for their university,” Steele said.

“So I think she’s got a hard choice ahead of her.”

As for what comes after the European tour, well it’s right back to work for Edwards as she is primed to play for Canada again, this time at her own age group.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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