Former Saugerties High School varsity boys’ basketball standout Darnell Edge just completed his first NBA Summer League season, spending the first half of summer in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas as a member of the Utah Jazz.
“It’s been great getting to learn the system of the Jazz and how the NBA works, meeting and bonding with a lot of the other guys and just being in this type of atmosphere,” said Edge on a call from Las Vegas in the final week of Summer League. “You get to compete with the highest-level players in the country, and I’m just trying to take as much away from the whole experience that I can and be professional about the whole thing, and just learn and grow.”
Edge, who grew up in Saugerties and amassed 1016 points during his varsity career for the Sawyers, graduated in 2015. After spending most of that summer planning to attend a post-graduate prep school to further polish his game to make himself more attractive to NCAA Division I schools, he wound up accepting a full athletic scholarship to attend Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. Edge graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson this past May with a degree in sports management.
“It was a good experience,” said Edge. “It was one of the few schools I got interest from, and the only school that gave me a full scholarship. So me going there was really a no-brainer for me because of the opportunity, the location and the people. My experience at FDU was really a great opportunity.”
Edge had a stellar senior season for the Knights, averaging 16.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while shooting 47.3 percent from the field, 47.7 percent from three-point range and 89.4 percent from the free-throw line. That last stat was good enough to rank him third in the entire nation. He also led the Knights to their first even NCAA tournament victory, with an 82-76 over Prairie View A&M in a First Four game. He was named to the All-Northeast Conference’s first team.
Edge’s college stats at Fairleigh Dickinson are impressive. He’s the program’s all-time leader in three-pointers (201), ranks eighth in steals (123), tenth in field goals made (485) and eleventh in scoring (1431 points). But even with all the accolades and a senior season that saw the basketball world take notice, Edge’s name wasn’t called during the NBA draft last month. After a tryout with the Brooklyn Nets, Edge joined the Jazz as a Summer League invitee, one with something to prove.
“That comes from being in a smaller school in Division I,” he said. “They see what you’ve done, but they realize you didn’t do that at Duke, so they might not think you can do it at a higher level. I’m just out here trying to fight and compete and show that I belong at the same level as everybody else.”
Edge’s final Summer League appearance took place in the Jazz’s 84-74 loss to the Charlotte Hornets at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas on July 13. Edge scored seven points on three-for-four shooting in ten minutes of work. He was one for two from three-point range. The six-foot-two guard also grabbed two rebounds and stole the ball once. Edge had a chance to show his skills both in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, while learning about the NBA from the inside.
“I’m getting to hang out with guys like [Jazz players] Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert. They were always in the locker room when I was in Salt Lake with the Jazz before we came out to Vegas because we had the Salt Lake Summer League,” Edge said. “Before we were training, those guys were in there training, so there were times I was in the ice bath or hot tub with Donovan Mitchell and we were just talking, so it was cool to actually be at this level where everybody around you is in the business. And beyond basketball there’s been a lot of sightseeing. It’s my first time on the West Coast. I’ve gotten to see Vegas, Salt Lake, and do some traveling. It’s all good stuff.”
As for what happens next, Edge is ready for anything.
“That’s still to be determined,” he said. “I knew coming into the Summer League that I wasn’t going to get a lot of minutes. It was mostly about getting me the experience and getting used to what it’s like at the pro level and to adjust to that. Right now I’ve got some overseas options that I’m looking into, or possibly G-League [the NBA’s minor league]. Hopefully I’ll have figured out over the next month, month-and-a-half, where I’ll be playing in the next year.”
Edge said growing up in Saugerties has proven instructive as he’s moved through basketball and life since graduating high school.
“Our community is so tight-knit and everybody knows each other,” Edge said. “I feel like we bring in a real positive energy, and even if I’m not in the game I can be a leader on the bench and cheering everybody else on, and that’s something that I learned in Saugerties because it’s a small community that supports each other. That’s something I’ve carried all along.”