It wasn’t supposed to end this way.
Standing at 7-foot-4, HAPA basketball player Zach Edey dominated the court in leading the Purdue Boilermakers as the No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.
Now Edey says he’s contemplating his future after Purdue became just the second number 1 seeded team in NCAA history to be bounced out of the tournament by a 16th-seeded team. The Boilermakers lost to the Fairleigh-Dickinson Knights Friday 63-58.
Edey plays as the center for Purdue, named the Big Ten Player of the Year last week for guiding the team’s success in the conference’s season and tournament championships.
Recently,Edey also headlined the Associated Press All-America first team selection, averaging 22.3 points and 12.8 rebounds per game, Sports Illustrated reported.
“I want to come back and I want to go to war with them, but at the end of the day I have to make the best decision for me,” Edey told the Journal-Courier. “I have no idea how long my career is going to last. I have no idea what’s going to happen in my future.”
Executive director of a Canadian Amateur Athletic Union program, Northern Kings, Vidal Massiah first recognized Edey’s potential when he was 15-years-old still living in Toronto, USA Today reported.
Edey was a newcomer to basketball, but Massiah was “blown away” when he first watched Edey play.
“His technique, his soft touch, and he was an athlete,” Massiah said. “Once we were done working out, I told his mom, ‘You got an NBA player right here.’”
“If there was no money involved, I would come back to Purdue in a heartbeat,” Edey said. “It’d be a no brainer. This is my favorite locker room I’ve ever been in. Ever. Any sport I’ve been in. Baseball. Hockey. Basketball. Any team. High school. AAU. Club team.
First competing with the Northern Kings, Edey went on to play for IMG Academy in Florida for his junior and senior years of high school.
IMG Academy has had Division 1 recruits and future NBA players, with 20 alumni representing 17 schools in the men’s tournament, according to USA Today.
Edey committed to Purdue’s team mainly for its team atmosphere and accomplished history working with big men, according to Edey’s profile.
Edey is the tallest player in Big Ten history and signing with Purdue was “the best decision that Zach ever made in his life,” IMG basketball director Brian Nash said.
“They are one of the few schools that develop big guys,” former Xavier and Virginia coach and CBS Sports Network analyst Pete Gillen said. “I don’t know how they do it, but they also say, ‘Hey, we’ll work inside-out.’ The big guy is going to get touches. We’re going to prioritize our big guys.”
Edey is also poised to take on the title of the John R. Wooden Award’s Player of the Year. This past summer, Edey returned to Canada and was named on the national team to compete in its FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
Edey’s mother is Chinese and is 6’3″ tall. His father is Canadian and a basketball coach.
“I have to do what is best for me and my family at this point. I have no idea what that is going to be,” said Zach.
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