EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The UTEP men’s basketball team is off to their best start to a season in half a decade and their Fresno, California connection has proven to be key.
Fresno natives Bryson Williams and Daryl Edwards played against each other in high school. In fact, their rival high schools played for the Valley Championship in 2014. Edwards’ Fresno High team topped Williams’ Roosevelt team by one point.
“We started off good. It was a close game the whole game. I got hot and started hitting some deep threes,” said Edwards.
“We lost by one point and he loves talking about it,” said Williams. “2014 Valley champs.”
Five years later, they are the Miners’ top two leading scorers taking very different routes to get to UTEP. Williams began his collegiate career at Fresno State with head coach Rodney Terry. He transferred to UTEP when Terry took the job in El Paso. Meanwhile, Edwards started out as a junior college player before landing at LSU. He came to UTEP this past summer as a graduate transfer.
“For those guys to have a college experience together and continue to grow as young men together, I think it bodes well for those guys,” said Terry.
The final objective for this duo is to get UTEP back to an NCAA Tournament.
“It would be a great story to start out as rivals and ending as teammates, getting to the ultimate goal,” said Williams. “That would be amazing.”
UTEP will host the nation’s longest-standing holiday tournament this week. The Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational will tip-off on Monday. The Miners will open tournament play with North Carolina A&T at 7 p.m. while UC Irvine will meet Kent State at 5 p.m.