After graduation last spring, the Poets’ star guards went their separate ways, with Spence heading to Maine for a post-grad year at Bridgton Academy, and Edwards going to Levelland, Texas to play for South Plains College.
When Spence fell “a couple points short” on the SAT and missed NCAA qualifying standards, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound point guard decided to reunite with Edwards at junior college. Spence committed to the Texans last week.
“Me and Derrell, we can get back together, playing on the same team again,” Spence said. “I think it’s going to be real fun. It’s an experience I never really [considered], playing college in the same town as him. I really think that’s going to be really exciting.”Spence, who averaged 14 points for Bridgton and led the team in steals and assists, consulted Edwards and Edmondson graduate and Texans freshman Stanton Kidd (7.9 points per game, 5.9 rebounds) about life in Levelland. Both Baltimore natives acknowledged that there would be an adjustment period for Spence in moving to Texas, but the competition is great and coach Steve Green knows how to produce players for the next level.
“It’s nice living down here,” Edwards said. “The coaches are cool. I think he’s going to make his system around his key players. I know I’m going to be one of those. Instead of running a slower offense, with Corey coming in, it’ll be speeded up regardless."
Edwards had a strong freshman campaign for the Texans, scoring 12 points per game and earning first-team all-conference and first-team all-region honors. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound shooting guard was named the Texans’ Defensive Player of the Year. Edwards said he relished playing the role of lead recruiter for Spence.
“Oh man, I’m very excited. That was my guy since the ninth grade. We came into Dunbar together and had a great experience there,” Edwards said. “The killer duo back together. We got it done in the state championship senior year. So we’re back at it again starting here.”
At South Plains, Edwards is looking forward to being the Texans’ go-to guy next season, with Spence as his primary setup man. While Spence had hoped to find himself on a Division I roster next year, he sees the benefits of junior college.
“I can really mature myself on and off the court, prepare myself for the next level,” Spence said.
Spence said he’s looking forward to visiting South Plains in the “next month or two,” and then enrolling in classes in August. It won’t be the college experience Spence envisioned, but he’s excited to make the most of the opportunity.
“I was frustrated about it, but then after a while I just let it go,” Spence said. “[There’s] never anything wrong with taking a longer route if you get where you need to go.”
Credit 1: 2010 Baltimore Sun photo of Corey Spence by Karl Merton Ferron. Credit 2: Handout photo of Derrell Edwards