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Knoxville Catholic’s B.J. Edwards signs with Tennessee basketball

As a sophomore in 2019-20, Edwards led the Fighting Irish to the Division II-AA state championship—the school’s first ever state title.
Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 6:20 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes announced Sunday that local guard B.J. Edwards has signed with the University of Tennessee.

Edwards, a senior at Knoxville Catholic High School, is rated as the nation’s No. 10 point guard and the No. 69 overall prospect in the country by 247Sports.com.

“B.J. is a player we’ve known for a long time, and he’s a winner,” Barnes said. “He’s a complete guard who can impact the game in multiple ways. He plays with a lot of confidence and great pace. He also defends at a high level, which is an attribute we value. He’s always been an efficient scorer, but he also makes his teammates better as a distributor.

“We think B.J. has a chance to blossom into one of the best all-around guards in the SEC if he continues to work hard and buys into our player development program. Keeping him here in Knoxville has been a priority for us.”

Edwards had been committed to Tennessee since July. A Knoxville native, he is coached at Catholic by longtime Fighting Irish head coach Michael Hutchens.

During his junior season in 2020-21, Edwards led Catholic to a 21-4 record and state semifinal appearance—averaging 19.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. Edwards was named the 2021 TSSAA Division II-AA Mr. Basketball, becoming the first player in Catholic’s history to earn the award. He was also named 2020-21 MaxPreps Tennessee High School Basketball Player of the Year.

As a sophomore in 2019-20, Edwards led the Fighting Irish to the Division II-AA state championship—the school’s first ever state title. In the state championship game, Edwards scored 14 points to lead Catholic past a Briarcrest Christian team that featured current Vol Kennedy Chandler. For that 2019-20 campaign, Edwards averaged 19.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game and was named a finalist for 2020 TSSAA Division II-AA Mr. Basketball—an award ultimately won by Chandler.

Edwards also led the Fighting Irish in scoring and assists as a freshman and sophomore at Catholic.

During his first three seasons at Catholic, Edwards was teammates with current Vol Handje Tamba, who reclassified from the 2022 class to the 2021 class in July.

Including Tamba, Edwards is now the fourth Knoxville native to sign a scholarship with the Vols during the Rick Barnes era. Edwards is Tennessee’s first signee in the Class of 2022.

Edwards played his AAU ball with the BMaze Elite program, founded by former Tennessee point guard Bobby Maze (2008-10).

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