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Eddings named Northeast basketball assistant coach

BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/NEMCC Athletics) — Edwond Eddings is returning to his native state with the goal of helping Northeast Mississippi Community College’s tradition-rich women’s basketball program continue to thrive.

Eddings, who holds over one decade of playing and coaching experience at the collegiate level, was chosen as the Lady Tigers’ new assistant coach beginning with the quickly approaching 2014-15 campaign.

“He was literally the best assistant available in the country,” said Northeast headman Brian Alexander. “As far as I’m concerned, I feel like I’ve hired a coach that’s a lot better than me and that’s what we wanted to do when we set out on this search.

“He fits what we’re trying to do here in that he’s a first class person. He’s somebody that you want your daughter to be around because he can mentor them and help them do better things with their lives. On the floor, he’s intense and knows the fundamentals of the game. He’s going to teach and coach hard.”

Eddings comes to the City of Hospitality from over 1,300 miles away at Colorado Northwestern Community College, where he served in the same capacity with the Lady Spartans for one season.

“It’s just a great opportunity for me,” Eddings said. “Coach Alexander is a great coach and he’s done a great job recruiting kids that are hard nosed and want to get after it. I think it’s going to be a really, really good year.”

He started his coaching career as part of the men’s basketball staff at Arkansas Tech University in the fall of 2007. The Wonder Boys compiled a winning record of 18-11 during his inaugural campaign on the bench and placed Jamar Flowers and Darren Tarver on the All-Gulf South Conference (GSC) team.

Arkansas Tech rose into the national spotlight over the next two seasons with the help of Eddings’ instruction. The Wonder Boys were victorious in three straight games during the 2009 Gulf South Tournament to claim its first league championship since winning the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference (AIC) title 14 years earlier.

Gulf South Tournament Most Valuable Player Renard Allen led Arkansas Tech into the NCAA Tournament in Lakeland, Fla., against nationally ranked Benedict (S.C.) College. Eddings and the Wonder Boys bested the Tigers before falling to No. 11 Florida Southern College in their second round contest.

Eddings led his squad to its best season in school history during the 2009-10 campaign. Arkansas Tech won 25 consecutive matchups to begin the year before losing its first matchup to instate rival the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

The defeat at the hands of the Boll Weevils did not deter the Wonder Boys’ efforts. They tallied a 13-1 mark versus league opponents to garner the GSC West Division crown and then edged the University of Alabama at Huntsville 64-63 at the DeSoto Civic Center to capture its second Gulf South Tournament title in a row.

Arkansas Tech earned the privilege of hosting the 2010 NCAA Tournament regional round. The Wonder Boys opened the event with a 34-point triumph against Tuskegee (Ala.) University at Tucker Coliseum, but fell to No. 6 Valdosta State (Ga.) University to end its record-breaking season.

Eddings’ group set a program record with 30 victories and had three student-athletes selected to the All-GSC team, including Brandon Friedel, Laithe Massey and Allen. Friedel, who connected on 98 three-pointers that year, was also named an NCAA Division II All-American for his efforts.

The Columbus native moved closer to home and received his first taste of coaching in the rugged Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) when he accepted a position on the women’s hoops staff at East Mississippi Community College in 2010.

Eddings expected excellence in the classroom as well as in the gymnasium while at Scooba. His first two squads were recognized as All-Academic Teams by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for maintaining a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.

The veteran coach turned a MACJC North Division championship during the 2011 campaign into a pair of top notch recruiting classes over the next few years. Eddings landed two players that were ranked in the top 100 countrywide, including Jeraldine Campbell and Shukurah Washington, and a handful of others that were billed as the Magnolia State’s finest hoops standouts.

Eddings left the Lady Lions and made the 21-plus hour trip to Rangely, Colo., to assume the responsibilities of assistant coach at Colorado Northwestern. His duties included scouting, film breakdown and coordinating the Lady Spartans’ strength and conditioning program.

He was a standout basketball athlete himself. Eddings collected Columbus High School’s sportsmanship award in 2003 and was its team captain that same season.

Eddings signed a scholarship with East Mississippi following a phenomenal career with the Falcons in which he won the 2001 Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A North Half Tournament. He was elected to participate in the annual MACJC All-Star Basketball Game at the Brackeen-Wood Physical Education Building in Decatur following his sophomore campaign.

He completed an Associate’s degree at East Mississippi and a Bachelor’s degree through Arkansas Tech, where he wrapped up his playing days from 2005-07.

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