Hutton: East Chicago Central’s Hyron Edwards’ stock rising fast
By Mike Hutton 648-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org June 20, 2012 11:16PM
East Chicago Central's Hyron Edwards grabs a rebound during their game held at East Chicago Central High School in East Chicago on Friday January 20, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 23, 2012 7:34AM
MERRILLVILLE — Abe Brown’s cell blew up when Hyron Edwards scored 35 points in the championship game of an AAU Tournament in Las Vegas.
“I think I got a million calls,” Brown said.
Since then, the hype machine for Edwards outside of Northwest Indiana, who just finished his freshman year at East Chicago Central, has reached the stratosphere.
There was a low buzz from high school coaches about Edwards, who was a skinny but promising player for the Cardinals during the regular season. In his last game this season, Edwards scored 14 points in a 73-52 loss to Lake Central in the second round of sectionals. It was a ho-hum night for the 5-11 point guard, who missed his share of open shots, making just 5-of-14 from the field.
The difference between what happens on the high school court and in AAU competition these days can be monumental. Edwards was just another good player on his East Chicago team, averaging 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. Certainly, he was going to be really, really good before it was over.
His play in AAU has made him really good right now.
Last month, he received an offer from Indiana. The day after he received the offer from IU, Purdue came in and made its offer.
Since his 14-point performance against LC, Edwards has gone from a guy with a promising future to one of the best guards at his position in the country, according to Rivals.com, which lists him as a four-star player.
He has taken unofficial visits to IU and Illinois. Just about every major Division I school in the country has its eye on him. Stanford, Virginia and Michigan all have jumped on the bandwagon.
Edwards was caught off-guard by the attention.
“It’s been great,” he said, “but I didn’t look for it this early. I didn’t think I’d be getting offers as a freshman.”
His dad, Hyron Edwards Sr., is one proud papa. Edwards graduated from East Chicago Roosevelt in 1983. He played point guard, also. He had a modest basketball career after high school, playing for Ivy Tech in Gary for a season.
He enjoys the process, but he’s also wary.
“It’s overwhelming,” Edwards said of the attention. “Freshmen don’t get these kinds of looks in Northwest Indiana, so it’s definitely special.”
Edwards wouldn’t tip his hand on whether he was more of an IU or Purdue guy, saying he liked both schools.
The older Edwards said he was a “big IU fan growing up.”
It likely helps IU’s cause that Edwards plays for Indiana Elite, an AAU team that is essentially a feeder for the Hoosiers. Four Elite players — Yogi Ferrell, Peter Jurkin, Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Perea — are going to IU next year.
If Edwards were to pull the trigger for IU, he would be the first region player to lace it up for the Hoosiers since Matt Nover played for Bob Knight in the early 1990s.
McKissack for West Side? The leading candidate for the West Side job is still Michigan City assistant Murray Richards, but former Roosevelt coach Larry McKissack could decide to make a run at the job.
McKissack, who left Roosevelt after nine seasons after EdisonLearning took over and essentially fired all the teachers, is in a holding pattern to see if he gets a job with the Gary school system. McKissack, who has 29 years of experience, said he should know within the next month if he’ll be absorbed into the system.
McKissack is busy restoring a 1936 Plymouth.
“Everything is moving so fast,” he said. “I just want to get my mind off that crap.”
He said he has been asked to apply, but he’s not sure if he’s going to do it because, “I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.”
Omar Vasquez gone: The Gary school system lost one of its most experienced teachers — and maybe one of its most experienced coaches — when Omar Vasquez was laid off in the purge for the city schools. Vasquez, who coached at Wirt for 21 years, was the girls coach at Lew Wallace. He’s not sure if he still is. Vasquez has 27 years of experience.