Sosa is a Pitino-type player

New York point guard Edgar Sosa is the type of player Rick Pitino loves to coach. He's hard-working. He understands the game. He doesn't shy from competition. And he's a winner. The 6-1, 180-pound Sosa led his high school team to city and state titles this season, and will lead the Black team this weekend in the adidas Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic.

Edgar Sosa is the type of player Rick Pitino loves to coach. He's hard-working. He understands the game. He doesn't shy from competition. And he's a winner.

Sosa, a 6-1, 180-pounder, led Rice High School to city and state title this past season, and will share point guard duties in Saturday's adidas Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic with McDonald's All-American Javaris Crittendon.

"I'm excited to be here in Louisville," Sosa said. "I haven't been here since June. It feels great to come to Louisville and see some of the fans."

When he wasn't guiding his own team to the winner's circle this season, Sosa said he kept on a close eye on his future team.

"I followed all of Louisville's games, I even went to some of the games when they played UConn and St. John's," he said. "I just think we had a lot of troubles because we were young. I'm hoping that next year we can do a lot better and make it to the tournament."

If the Cards make it back to the NCAA's next season, Sosa will certainly play a key role. He has the skill and athleticism Pitino has been looking for in a point guard since arriving from Boston five years ago.

"I think I could be great for Louisville just because I'm Rick Pitino's kind of player," Sosa said. "I think if I work hard I'll be able to help the team get back to the tournament. I think that's the most important thing."

Edgar Sosa is a Rick Pitino type of player.

What is it that Sosa does that fits so well with Pitino's style?

"I'm just a player that's never scared to attack the basket, and knows when to shoot and when to pass," Sosa said. "People see me as a three-point shooter, but I can do more than that. I think I can lead the team and get to the basket and score."

Pitino has often made comparisons between Sosa and former star Francisco Garcia. Sosa sad Garcia and the success the current Sacramento Kings rookie forward had at Louisville played a large part in his decision to play for the Cardinals.

"(Francisco) was a big influence," Sosa said. "Just watching the success Francisco had here at Louisville played a big part when I picked my school. That's why I picked Louisville."

Sosa said he's looking forward to the challenge of competing for the starting point guard spot next season. As a senior, Sosa proved he could lead a team to the top. Though he missed a few games early in the season, Rice won 20 straight games after Sosa returned to the court.

"The city title was big," Sosa said. "We came up short last year and lost by one in overtime, and this year we finally won. It feels great, and to follow it up with a state championship feels even better."

This weekend, Sosa will finally get his chance to play alongside future teammate and friend Derrick Caracter. Sosa and Caracter have often competed against one another, including in the CYT Tournament championship game a few weeks back, but this will be the first time they'll play together.

"I can't wait to play with Derrick and Earl Clark," Sosa said "Those are two guys that are from around my way, but we've never really played together. I just can't wait until we get out there and put on the uniforms together."

Once Sosa and Caracter get on the court together Saturday night in Freedom Hall, it's a safe bet Louisville fans will be excited for what's in store next season.

"What they went through last season is not going to happen again," Sosa promised.

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