It took only a few seconds for the memories to wash over Kailey Edwards.
For just the second time in a nomadic collegiate basketball career, Edwards returned to the Coors Events Center floor, where she helped lead the Legacy Lightning to the 2012 Class 5A state championship in a memorable title-game showdown against Monarch.
Now a senior at Boston College, Edwards joined her Eagles teammates as the University of Colorado hosted its annual Omni Classic. Boston College lost its opening game of the showcase on Friday against SMU.
“The first time we walked out (Thursday) for practice I was like, ‘Whoa, the memories,’ but it was cool,” Edwards said. “It’s fun to play in front of family, my friends. Getting to see some good friends who play for CU. It’s a cool experience.
“I was talking to my teammates about (the state title). I remember where I was on the floor when it happened and I kind of walked them through it. It’s great to be back and have those memories rush through again.”
Edwards was recruited by coach Erik Johnson at the University of Denver but never got an opportunity to play for Johnson after he left DU to take the job at Boston College.
Edwards fulfilled her end of the bargain by playing two seasons with the Pioneers before following Johnson to Boston, sitting out the 2014-15 season per NCAA transfer rules. She returned to action last year, averaging 4.6 points while taking on the role of a perimeter defensive stopper for Johnson’s Eagles.
“She made an immediate impact with defending our players, running the floor, putting pressure on other players that were going to play in games,” Johnson said. “I think she took really good advantage of that year. Last year, in her first year of eligibility with us, she stepped into a role…and after being a 35-minute a game, shoot-the-ball-anytime-she-wanted player at DU, she wanted to try it out at the highest level.
“When she came in the game, she often made us better.”
This weekend wasn’t the first time Edwards hit the CEC floor since her title at Legacy — just a few months after the Lightning’s championship win she returned as a true freshman at DU to score 11 points in a loss against Colorado — but it was the first time she played this season for BC after suffering a deep bone bruise in her kneecap last spring that limited her during the summer and preseason.
While Johnson termed it “serendipitous” that Edwards was able to return to the rotation in time for her homecoming game, Edwards refused to be denied the opportunity to play at Coors once again.
“I’m just happy to be back,” Edwards said. “From Day 1, that’s what we’ve been shooting for, trying to have it ready when we came to Colorado.”
Edwards finished with seven points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 29 minutes off the bench for Boston College in its loss against SMU.
Pat Rooney: email@example.com or twitter.com/prooney07