IOWA CITY, Iowa — Former University of Iowa women’s basketball and Seattle Storm center Simone Edwards has passed away at the age 49, two years after she was diagnosed with cancer.
The 6-foot-4 Edwards was a track standout in her native Jamaica. She played junior college basketball in Oklahoma before transferring to Iowa from 1994 to 1997. There, she was part of the Hawkeyes’ Big Ten regular-season championship team in 1996 and Big Ten Tournament title team in 1997.
Iowa advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1996 and the second round in 1997. During her time at Iowa, she helped the Hawkeyes amass 74 victories.
Edwards was on the New York Liberty’s roster in 1997, the WNBA’s inaugural season, but did not play in the league until she went to the expansion Storm in 2000.
She played six seasons with the Storm, averaging 5.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, and was a fan favorite nicknamed the “Jamaican Hurricane.” Edwards, who started 48 games during her Storm career, was on Seattle’s first of four championship teams in 2004. She retired from the WNBA before the start of the 2006 season.
She coached Jamaica’s National women’s team to the Caribbean Championships in 2014 and had assistant coaching stints at Radford University and George Mason.
Edwards was conferred with the Order of Distinction in 2017. Visitation plans have not been announced.