Former Gonzaga big man finds new home with Portland State - KPTV - FOX 12

Former Gonzaga big man finds new home with Portland State

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Ryan Edwards (Image: KPTV) Ryan Edwards (Image: KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A random meeting in the Rose City landed a former Gonzaga basketball player in the starting lineup for Portland State University.

Ryan Edwards went from the Final Four in 2017 to the Big Sky Conference in 2018 and he said the move has him revitalized on the court.

“It’s changed my perspective 100 percent,” he said. “It’s definitely bringing the light back into my eyes with the game.”

Edward is 7 feet 1 inch tall, making him the tallest basketball player in PSU history.

After spending four years on the bench at Gonzaga, which included one redshirt year, Edwards said he had decided to call it a career on the basketball court. However, a chance encounter with a pair of PSU assistant coaches led to an offer to join the Vikings.

“Not often are your recruiting stories that, ‘We met a guy in a restaurant bar and he wants to come and play at Portland State, should we do it?’” said head coach Barret Peery. “Recruiting is usually a little harder than that.”

Edwards played behind some big names for Gonzaga, including Trail Blazers rookie Zach Collins, who could be a sophomore for the Bulldogs right now. Instead, Collins was taken with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Edwards said he and Collins are friends and Edwards has made it to the Moda Center to watch Collins play for Portland.

“It's nice to have someone to connect to, me and him, so it makes it good,” Edwards said.

Edwards double-majored at Gonzaga in broadcasting and public relations. He’s now working on his adult education degree at PSU, hoping to one day coach big men in basketball.

Now, however, he also wants to try and play in Europe after his time is done with the Vikings, something he wasn’t even considering before arriving in Portland.

“Ryan has found a good home with us and we are excited for him,” Peery said.

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