By Dylan Butler
Corey Edwards heard all the right things about Paul Hewitt, but before he reaffirmed his decision to attend George Mason, he wanted to meet the new head coach in person.
That meeting happened May 4 and it validated everything the Christ the King point guard had heard about Hewitt, who grew up on Long Island and coached Georgia Tech for 11 years.
“He sat down and talked to my mother and father, talked about what his plans are for me as an incoming freshman,” Edwards said. “He talked about my game and said he’s heard a lot about me and we’re looking forward to starting the year off right.”
Edwards, a second-team all-city selection by the New York Post, initially committed in October and expressed his excitement for playing for Jim Larranaga. But when Larranaga bolted for Miami, Edwards’ college future was again up in the air.
“I was shocked because I didn’t picture Coach Larranaga leaving anytime soon,” Edwards said. “When he left, I thought I was going to have to de-commit or open up my recruitment again because I didn’t know who they were going to hire.”
Two weeks of uncertainty came to an end for Edwards, who helped guide Christ the King to a second consecutive CHSAA Class AA intersectional basketball title in March, when Hewitt was hired.
“Once I found out they hired him, it was real positive, knowing he was an ACC coach, he put guys in the league. He knows how to win, basically,” Edwards said. “He’s a great coach. He’s recruited the best, he’s coached the best.”
An in-home visit with Hewitt confirmed that for Edwards, who said he leaves for George Mason June 6 to take summer classes.
“I feel very comfortable knowing he’s the head coach,” Edwards said.
Royals Coach Joe Arbitello thinks the Hewitt-Edwards combination is a “match made in heaven.”
“I think it’s going to work out well,” Arbitello said. “Hewitt is very astute … and he knows a lot of people in the area. He’s a first-class guy. He said he loves Corey, wants him to stay. He seems to already know what to expect from Corey.”