Edie signs with Lady Bears

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Exeter High School senior Whitney Edie signed a national letter of intent on Monday to play basketball next year at Missouri State University in Springfield. Pictured in the front row are: Whitney and her parents, Rick and Donna Edie. In the back row is Exeter High School Principal Robert Taylor and Exeter Lady Tigers Coach Jason Cole. Democrat Photo

Exeter High School senior Whitney Edie made it official Monday morning. The 6'1" basketball standout is now a Lady Bear after signing a national letter of intent to play at Missouri State University in Springfield next year.

Playing college basketball has been a dream of Edie's since she first began playing the game back in third grade.

"It's always been my goal to go D-1 (Division 1), but I didn't know if it would come true," said Edie, who is the daughter of Rick and Donna Edie, of Exeter.

Last year, Coach Nyla Milleson saw Edie playing at The Courts in Springfield as a member of the Missouri Valley Magic and contacted Edie about playing at MSU. After visiting the campus and spending time with the team, Edie said she knew Missouri State is where she wanted to play.

"I like the coaching staff, and all the players were really nice," said Edie. "I also like that it's close to home."

Transitioning from Class 1 high school basketball to the Division 1 college game is a task that Exeter High School Coach Jason Cole believes his star player is capable of achieving.

"I think all the physical ability is there," said Coach Cole. "She works hard and doesn't back down from a challenge."

Cole has coached Edie for the past six years and is probably most impressed with Edie's versatility as a player.

"Whitney can play inside and outside," said Cole. "When she was in seventh grade, she was 5'4" and was our point guard. As she grew, she adapted and played more on the inside. I think she's as versatile as she is now because she handled the ball so much when she was younger."

Getting Edie to talk about her strengths as a player was not easy, but when pressed, Edie said she thinks she provides opposing teams with a difficult match up.

"I can shoot the ball and handle it, which is rare with my height," said Edie.

Although Edie is excited about the prospect of becoming a Lady Bear, she is not looking beyond a strong finish to her high school career.

"We want to make it to state," said Edie. "I'm very excited for my senior season."

Last year, Exeter won the Ozark 7 Conference and district championships. The squad enjoyed a 22-7 season that included an unblemished 10-0 conference mark.

As a junior, Edie was named to the Associated Press and Coaches Poll All-State first teams. Edie was also first team All-Area, first team All-District and Ozark 7 Conference Player of the Year following her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. In addition, Edie was an All-State second team selection as a freshman and sophomore.

"It's been a real pleasure just having Whitney on my team these past six years," said Cole.

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