Jamaican Canadian Aaliyah Edwards 6th Pick at WNBA Draft

Former Connecticut basketball star, Jamaican Canadian Aaliyah Edwards, the sixth player chosen in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) draft event held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024. Edwards, whose Jamaican parents, Stanford and Jacqueline Edwards coached her, will now play for the Washington Mystics. Following her selection, Edwards said she was “super grateful” for the opportunity she has been given.

Aaliyah on WNBA draft night with her father Stanford Edwards

The Mystics’ choice

The Washington Mystics is reworking its roster following the departure of three players: Elena Delle Donne, Natasha Cloud, and Tianna Hawkins. The team signaled the direction of its revamp when it signed a two-year contract with Stefanie Dolson, a six-foot-five center and twice-named all-star player. At six-foot-three, Edwards is a power forward with experience in the midrange game. Edwards brought an average of career highs that included 17.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks. Edwards noted that she is looking forward to expanding her game in the league, and while she may be asked to take a different role, she is open to the change. She views herself as a versatile player and able to make a positive impact on any position she is asked to play. Edwards also acknowledged “it’s going to be a tough league,” especially in the first year, but said she is “pumped” and ready for the challenge.”

Edwards’ background and achievements

Aaliyah Edwards was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in 2002. She played high school basketball at Crestwood Preparatory College in Toronto. She led Crestwood to three championships and played as a Canadian national on the U-16, U-17, and senior FIBA Cup teams. She went on to play three championships and played for Canadian national U16, U17 and senior FIBA Cup teams. She was recruited to play collegiate ball at the University of Connecticut (UConn), which she attended from 2020 to 2024. As a junior at UConn, she was the first player to attain 20 points and 20 rebounds since 2010.

Aaliyah on WNBA draft night mother Jacqueline Edwards

Awards and medals

Edwards, who is known for wearing her hair in purple and yellow braids to honor Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, was named the WBCA Coaches’ All-American in 2024, as well as the AP Honorable Mention All-American, the Second-team All-American of the USBWA, and a First-team All-Big East player in the same year. In 2023, Edwards was honored at the Big East Most Improved Player of the Year, the AP and USBWA Third-team All-American, and to the First-team All-Big East. She was also named to the Big East All-Freshman Team in 2021 and Big East Sixth-Woman of the Year. Edwards won a silver medal in 2017 and the FIBA U-16 Women’s Americas Championship and a silver with the senior team in the 2019 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup. Edwards was named to the Canadian Olympic team in 2021.

Photo – Aaliyah Edwards, Stanford Edwards