CENTRAL POINT—The decision came a few weeks ago, but the signing made it official today.
Crater’s Kiefer Edwards will be attending Southern Oregon University and playing basketball for the Raiders.
After being recruited by NCAA Division I Idaho and other NAIA schools, Edwards decided to trust his gut and stay local.
“It didn’t take much convincing,” Edwards said. “I really liked it from the get go. Being local is a big factor. I’ve become really close with the coaching staff and I know a lot of players that are attending there right now. It just really feels like home.”
With pen to paper and the National Letter of Intent sealed, he continues a storied Crater-SOU connection.
His high school head coach, Chris Schmerbach, is a former Raider basketball player, as is athletic director David Heard. When it comes to entrusting Edwards’ high school domination continues at the collegiate level, everyone knows he’ll be in good hands.
"The dominant career that he had at our level, there's a lot left there and I feel like the coaches and the support that he has around him is just going to help him go to another level,” Schmerbach said.
SOU head coach Brian McDermott conceded he thought it was a longshot for his program to land Edwards.
“A couple years ago, one of my assistants said, ‘Well we’ve got to start getting on Kiefer and start recruiting him,’ and I said, ‘I’m not so sure we should waste our time because I don’t know if he’s going to land at our level,’” McDermott said.
“For someone that’s that long and handles the ball like that, he’s a guy that we think is going to be able to play four positions,” he continued.
It sounds like a match made in basketball heaven.
Local fans can keep tabs one of the most electrifying southern Oregon high school players for four more years, and Edwards gets to play at a place that feels like home on and off the court.
"They play a lot like Crater and that's what I like because my coach came from SOU and so I know a lot about how they play and I think I'll fit in really well into the system," Edwards said. "It definitely makes it more comfortable going there knowing some people... It feels like home having a lot of people there that are local."