Dyricus Simms-Edwards spends summer in Europe for basketball

Originally published in the September 3, 2010 issue

While trips to Europe may be a staple for some college students, sophomore Dyricus Simms-Edwards’ trip was not like most students’ experience.

The sophomore combo guard ended his summer with a five game tour of Europe with nine other college basketball players as part of the Global Sports Academy.

Simms-Edwards played in Brussels, Bruges, Dusseldorf, Cologne and London.

While not exactly known for their basketball prowess, these cities still had a lot to offer.

“It’s old, but I felt like it was a nice place.” Simms-Edwards said. “It was small so I knew I could easily find where things were and not get lost. There is a lot of history there. I enjoyed it.”

Simms-Edwards also said he learned as much off the court as he did in the gym.

“They have buildings over there that are ancient and to be in a situation where I can see that and tour some of those buildings was a great opportunity for me,” he said.

Simms-Edwards said the different food was another memorable aspect of the trip.

“I really liked the Belgian waffles, they’re different,” he said. “They don’t use syrup on the waffles over there. They use vanilla cream, strawberries, whipped cream, powdered sugar and Nutella.”

While the team did stop for sightseeing, the main purpose of the trip was the five-game tour across Europe.

“We weren’t that big. We basically had one true [center],” Simms-Edwards said. “We really got the ball around, pushed it up the court pretty fast. It was also a 24-second shot clock so it sped the game up.”

Simms-Edwards spent last season playing mostly as a combo guard, but the European trip brought him back to his roots as a point guard, where he played in high school.

On the 10-man roster, he was chosen as the point guard.

“It was kind of like riding a bike. Once you’ve done it before, you have a clue of what to do once it’s thrown back at you again,” Simms-Edwards said. “But it’s a totally different at this level.  It was a good opportunity to tune up my point guard skills for the season.”

With seniors Sam Maniscalco, Andrew Warren and Dodie Dunson returning, the guard position for the Braves is crowded. Since Maniscalco is the only true point guard on the team, Simms-Edwards will look to fill in anywhere he is needed.

“It will probably be similar to my role last year, but a lot more point guard involved,” he said. “Of course I’m a combo guard, and I play the two and the one. But I feel like this year I’ll play more one than I did last year.”

Because Simms-Edwards was a freshman last year, he was not able to join Maniscalco, Warren, Dunson and the rest of the team last year on their trip to Brazil, but this summer made up for it.

“I didn’t brag too much,” Simms-Edwards said.  “I kept them posted and let them know what was going on. Once I got back I told them a couple stories.”

Even while Simms-Edwards was away from his team for a good part of the summer, the camaraderie between Simms-Edwards, the coaches and the rest of the team is apparent.

“The team had a great summer;  everyone got bigger, stronger, faster,” he said. “All that credit goes to coach Wright. He really worked us hard and did what he could for us to become better players, better athletes.”