STRATFORD—This was the summer Maximus Edwards realized growing up means life becomes full of tougher and tougher decisions.
The standout basketball star, an All-State player who last winter led Bunnell High School team to an SWC championship, while also becoming the Bulldogs’ all-time leading scorer, announced earlier this month that he was leaving town to reclassify as a student-athlete at a private school called Our Saviour Luthern in the Bronx.
The move means Edwards will have two years of high school eligibility remaining before heading off to college.
“It was a really tough decision,” Edwards said. “At heart, I didn’t really want to do it, but I talked to my family and it’s probably the best decision for me.”
Last season at Bunnell, Edwards—a 6-foot-4 guard—averaged 27 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists per game—as the Bulldogs posted a 20-6 record.
In addition to winning the SWC championship over Immaculate on Edward’s game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, the Bulldogs advanced to the state Division 2 quarterfinals, falling to Glastonbury 74-69.
Our Saviour Lutheran has been on Edwards’ radar for a while now as its coach is affiliated with the player’s AAU program, the New York Lightning.
One of the school’s top players last year, 6-foot-10 Bernard Kouma, took his talents to Illinois in the Big Ten.
“They’ve been talking to me for a while about going there, and I just kept stalling,” Edwards admitted. “This year, they came at me heavy. Since the beginning of summer, I was like what am I going to do?”
After looking at all the angles, and talking with his family, the decision was finalized.
“They play a lot of competition and they have a great coach,” Edwards said. “It’s just a better situation for me. I think it’s time.”
Edwards said having an extra year will help him straighten out his academic situation, as well.
“My freshman year, I was a varsity basketball starter and I didn’t really take (school) seriously,” he admitted. “This is really good for me and it’s like restarting and getting a just to prove myself in the classroom.”
Edwards isn’t happy about leaving Bunnell with unfinished business, however.
“I had more to accomplish,” he said. “The one thing I didn’t do was win a state championship. If I had stayed, we could have gotten a state championship and maybe I’d have gotten to 2,000 points.”
Bunnell second-year coach Dannie Powell seemed to roll with the punch after the news broke.
“Obviously, it’s a big loss and he is a great player,” Powell told GameTimeCT’s Joe Morelli of the New Haven Register. “I had a fun time coaching him and hope everything works out for him at his new school. I told him, “I wish you luck. If you need any help or anything, you are more than welcome to call me.’”
Edwards leaves a Bunnell program he still believes heavily in, though.
“I believe in all of them,” Edwards said. “People are going to sleep on them. They don’t how hard they’ve been working, and Dannie is a great coach. I still believe in my guys.”
The 17-year-old Edwards, who finished his three-year Bunnell career with more than 1,600 points, also believes in himself and his dreams, which is why he made the tough decision to leave the Bulldogs for a different path to his future.
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