After four years playing basketball at Seton Hall University, star senior Fuquan Edwin is ready to take his talents to professional basketball.
Edwin and current Pirates' head coach Kevin Willard came to South Orange at the same time and after four years that same player reflects on an up and down career as well as his future.
While at the Hall together, Edwin and Willard established a strong connection over their four years.
We had a lot of one-on-one meetings and he put me right where I needed to be," Edwin said of his coach.
During Edwin's time here, there have been many memorable moments that coaches and fans will never forget and a few stand out more than others.
Gibbs' shot in the Big East Tournament, my shot vs. Nova and beating Syracuse in the Carrier Dome freshman year," are a few that Edwin mentioned.
Counting those memorable games, Edwin has played in 125 for the Pirates and started in 118 of them. He scored 1,633 points in his career while logging 3,847 minutes in a blue and white uniform. Those numbers though, are not what Edwin was known for. For that, fans have to look at the defensive end.
"The steals record and playing at Seton Hall University was unreal to me as a freshman," Edwin said. "I pictured myself helping the team and I heard I was out of position, just freshmen year coming in right away and producing."
Edwin accumulated the most steals in Pirates basketball history with 295. Defense is part of the game Edwin believes he takes the most pride in and that helped to achieve this milestone.
That tenacity on the defensive end as well as an improved offensive game gives Edwin the confidence that he will get selected in the upcoming NBA draft.
Edwin has an idea of where he would like to go to start his professional career.
"Oklahoma City [Thunder], or the [San Antonio] Spurs. I fit well there, I have a role right away and they are not looking for me to be spectacular. They just want me to do my job."
He added that he would want to play LeBron James or Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat at some point in his career because, "they are good leaders and push themselves and their teammates."
It does not matter which franchise drafts him, however, because Edwin believes that he can bring good attributes to any organization.
"I give a lot of energy and I'm willing to learn every day," Edwin said. "I'm a positive person on and off the court and I know my role."
If Edwin gets to the pro level, he has two players in mind that he would like to guard as well in JR Smith and Nick Young.
"I would like to expand my game and I model myself after those guys, how they play and shoot the ball," he said. "I am the same height and position and I will be guarding them if I make it."
As Edwin leaves the Seton Hall program behind he knows that it is certainly better than when he found it.
"The program is on the rise, it has been getting better, winning some good games, it is not boring basketball," Edwin said. "SHU is getting great players, Isaiah [Whitehead] coming here, other players would like to play with him or come after him. Me leaving on the legacy of defense, I would like to see Isaiah [Whitehead] break my steals record."
Edwin added that adding Whitehead with the players like Sterling Gibbs and Patrik Auda will cause problems for the opposition.
Edwin will certainly not be forgotten by the fans who watched him and he is confident that his dedication is what people will remember from his time at Seton Hall.
"I want my legacy to be that I went 100% every game, every fan can vouch for that and agree."
This May, Edwin will graduate and wanted to let the fans and community know that he appreciates what they have meant to him.
"It has been a blast, I'm sad that I have to leave. I wish I could play one more year," he said. "I want to thank them for being supportive through the tough times, they are very loyal, from the alums to the fans sitting at home and watching the games. I got to meet some great alums, and they are good people, just like a family."
Edwin will never play for the Pirates again, but that effort and defensive excitement will live on in his predecessors.
Also, he has the chance to represent Seton Hall University in the NBA where fans can share what they saw from him to the rest of America as they begin to discover what Edwin can do on a basketball court.
Edwin will work out for the Utah Jazz at their facilities on May 8 and will likely have others before the draft.
Sean Saint Jacques can be reached at email@example.com.