'Mean Gene' still having fun

One of the most popular Wildcats was an infrequent starter. While other players got the love for scoring and flashiness, Gene Edgerson was loved because he worked hard. With his big afro and old-school Nikes, Edgerson epitomized hard work and a blue-collar attitude.

Edgerson had the distinction of being the only player in school history to play in two Final Fours. He has also played in more NCAA Tournament games than any player in school history.

In a year where the Wildcats had internal strife and players failing to accept a role, fans tended to miss a player who consistently accepted a role. "Mean Gene" would have preferred to have been a starter, but the team called on him to be a rebounder and an enforcer of sorts. He was exactly the type of player the Wildcats lacked this past season.

Edgerson had stints in the NBA Developmental League and other minor leagues, but he found a home with the Harlem Globetrotters. He was always quick with a smile and good with kids, so Edgerson was a natural fit with the clown princes of basketball.

Due to Globetrotter policies, he can't discuss the team with the media without written authorization, but we've heard that he will rejoin the squad in October.

When his tour with the Globetrotters is over, Edgerson comes back to Tucson. He now has a home on the south side and just completed work on his Master's degree.

"I have to prepare for life after basketball," Edgerson laughed. "I'm going to keep playing ball for as long as I can, but I now have that to fall back on."

Edgerson has been a regular fixture around McKale since he graduated. He is always willing to help out the young players, but don't expect to see him on the sidelines when his playing days are done.

"No, not me, I'm definitely not coaching material," Edgerson remarked. "I'm not a teacher in regards to telling people what to do. I'm a leader by example. I like to show how to do something. That's how it was when I was a teacher in the classroom. I teach by example."

Since Edgerson is not ready to go into the classroom just yet, he's trying to keep his basketball game sharp. He's playing in the Tucson Summer Pro League and after the opening nights he feels positive about Corey Williams' venture.

"It's a good opportunity to play a game against some proven guys," Edgerson said.

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