Athletic transfer brings new life to Hilltopper program

Western Kentucky’s Fredrick Edmond (25) lays the ball up past Kentucky Wesleyan’s Marcus Fuggins (25) during Friday’s game at E.A. Diddle Arena. The Hilltoppers won the homecoming game 75-68. Nick Wagner/HERALD

John Reecer

As the WKU men’s basketball team prepares to start its new season, many players are still meshing together and figuring out their roles on the team.

However, one player in particular already seems to be right at home in his first year on the Hill — junior guard Fredrick Edmond.

Edmond’s game proved to be the most consistent on the team through Hilltopper Hysteria and WKU’s two preseason exhibition games.

At Hysteria, he led both teams in scoring with 14 points while also winning the slam dunk competition.

Through the two exhibition games, Edmond averaged 13 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5 assists per game.

As important as his production on the court is his quick bond with the rest of the team.

“I always feel comfortable playing around Fred,” transfer redshirt senior guard Aaron Cosby said. “He is just one of those guys that I know has my back out there, and I have his.”

Edmond’s play is earning his new teammates’ respect as well as the head coach’s notice. Head Coach Ray Harper observed the Lansing, Michigan, native’s talent in both physical skill and team bonding.

“He’s just touching the surface of his talent right now,” Harper said. “You better keep your eye on this one because he’s got a chance to be something great.”

Before arriving on campus this fall, Edmond played two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho. There, he was named a two-time National Junior College Athletics Association All-American and was one of 10 first-team All-Americans in 2014-15.

That season, he led the Eagles in scoring and rebounding with 18.8 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game.

Edmond’s activity on the court displays a strong work ethic and advanced skill set. Leading the Hilltoppers in assists, he showed a strong team-first mentality in the two preseason matches.

“You could take the stat sheets and throw them in the trash can for Fred,” Harper said. “He wouldn’t care if he scored one point or not.”

Harper was excited about where the transfer’s focus lies on the court.

“Now, he would’ve cared if the score showed that we lost. He’s a winner, and he’s all about the team,” Harper said.

Harper was excited in part because he believes Edmond has skill sets he hasn’t completely tapped into yet.

“An underrated part of his game was his passing,” Harper said. “However, it’s really not about his ability to pass but rather his willingness to pass to open teammates.”

Edmond is enjoying his time on the team and is quickly adjusting to the pace and skill level of Division I competition.

“We have a lot of great guys on this team along with athleticism and potential,” Edmond said. “We have a lot of good big men and good guards. This is one of the better teams I have played so far.”

Even though Edmond is stepping into a much bigger talent pool in Division I competition, he has the potential to be one of the most important Hilltoppers this season.

While there might be some early growing pains for the WKU basketball team, faithful Hilltoppers will certainly see results from the 6-foot-4, 205-pound guard.