Simone Edwards

The 6’4” former center is the first Jamaican player to be signed to the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)


The incredible personal journey of Simone Edwards took her from an impoverished and gang-infested community in Kingston, Jamaica, to becoming the first Jamaican player signed to the WNBA. 

As a high school senior, Edwards was offered a full scholarship to an American college – but only if she learned to play basketball. Frequently referred to as the “Jamaican Hurricane,” Edwards is famous in the WNBA for her fan-favorite “Shimmy Shake” and her record as one of the top rebounders in the world. 

She first garnered attention on the court during junior college, at Seminole State College in Seminole, Oklahoma, leading the team to an undefeated conference record, ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association Top 10. During her tenure, she was the recipient of several top sports awards and became the First Kodak All-American in the school’s history. Edwards’ junior college success carried over to her time as team co-captain at Division I University of Iowa.

Upon graduating, Edwards was signed to the WNBA New York Liberty during the 1997 inaugural season, becoming the the first Jamaican signed to the WNBA. Throughout her trailblazing career, she gained international prominence as a basketball star in Italy, Hungary, Israel, and Spain leading teams to championships including the Israeli Cup and the Spanish Copa de la Reina. In 2000, she signed with the Seattle Storm’s inaugural team, and founded Simone4Children to uplift and educate children in Jamaica, ultimately becoming a WNBA champion.

Edwards announced her retirement after a six-year career with the Seattle Storm in 2006, retiring as the longest-tenured member on the original Storm roster. Post-retirement, Edwards was selected to represent her home country as team captain on the Jamaica Basketball Women’s National Team, winning the country’s first-ever gold medal at the 2006 Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship. In 2014, she returned to the team as head coach, winning yet another gold medal at the championship.

Edwards is a member of the Seattle Storm All-Decade Team and the Seattle Storm Legend Fraternity. Simone is a motivational speaker and the author of UNSTOPPABLE, a memoir of adversity, perseverance and triumph. In 2015, she starred in the award-winning documentary feature film Coming Back to the Hoop, coaching senior women to the Senior National Basketball Championship. Inspired by the bullying she endured from childhood to college, in 2015, she also launched The Anti-Bully Projectas a champion in the fight against bullying worldwide, and most recently launched GIRLS UNTAPPED

In 2017, the Jamaican government bestowed her with the Order of Distinction award for her outstanding contribution to Jamaica's Women National Basketball. Since 2017, Simone has been the National Spokeswoman for Caribbean American Heritage Month.

Career Highlights

1993: Regional Player of the Year, MVP, NJCAA All-American First Team, Seminole State College

1993: First Kodak All-American in school’s history, Seminole State College

1993: Recruited to University of Iowa NCAA Division I

1997: Signed to New York Liberty WNBA Team

1997: Became the First Jamaican WNBA Player

1997: First-Ever WNBA Game w/ New York Liberty

2000: Signed to Seattle Storm Inaugural WNBA Team

2004: Won WNBA Championship – Seattle Storm

2005: Inducted in Seminole State College Hall of Fame

2005: The Women’s Day Award from International Women’s Day Committee (Italy)

2006: All-Time Leader in Games Played (93), Minutes (2,149) & Rebounds (405)

2006: Second in Seattle Storm History in Most Points Scored (676)

2006: Retired from Seattle Storm as last original player on the inaugural Storm roster

2006: Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship, Jamaica Basketball Women’s National Team – Gold Medal (Team Captain)

2007: Most Points Scored Award for Federation of International Basketball (FIBA)

2007: Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach – Radford University NCAA Division I (2007-08)

2008: Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach – George Mason University NCAA Division I (2008-2011)

2010: Member of the Seattle Storm All-Decade Team

2010: Immaculate Conception High School Alumnae Association, New York Chapter Ad Astra Award for Philanthropy 

2010: Caribbean Lifestyle Honor for Lifetime Achievement Award

2010: Centrobasket Championship – Silver Medal (Head Coach)

2010: Central American and Caribbean Games – Bronze Medal (Head Coach)

2010: RJR Sports Foundation Special Award recognizing contribution to development of Women’s Basketball

2014: Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship – Gold Medal (Head Coach)

2015: RJR Sports Foundation Merit Award

2014: Member of the Seattle Storm Legend Fraternity

2015: Starred in Award-Winning Documentary Feature Film "Coming Back To The Hoop"

2015: Founded The Anti-Bully Project

2015: Featured on BRAVO Real Housewives of Atlanta

2016: Selected NCAA Women’s Basketball Ambassador

2017: Co-founded Diverse Writers Room

2017: Selected as National Spokeswoman for Caribbean American Heritage Month

2017: Published Unstoppable: A Memoir of Adversity, Perseverance & Triumph

2017: Conferred National Order of Distinction Award by Jamaican Government 

2018: Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation Honor for Commitment to Community Service and Philanthropy

2019: Received Proclamation from the Atlanta City Council for Contributions and Advocacy for Women Sports 

2019: Voted Top 10 Fan Favorite on Seattle Storm 20th Anniversary Team