As you walk through the doors of Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village, N.Y., you can’t help but notice the athletic wall of fame. The display case features the retired jerseys of Christ the King basketball legends like Lamar Odom, Sue Bird and Chamique Holdsclaw. Behind the glass lies a legacy of basketball excellence, and that legacy prevails through junior point guard Corey Edwards and sophomore shooting guard Omar Calhoun. Both players have the potential to join that legendary group one day, being remembered as some of the best players to ever grace the court at such a storied program.
The dynamic duo has caught the attention of schools such as Louisville, Pittsburgh, Villanova and St. Johns. They’ve led their squad to a 24-5 record in the CHSAA “AA” division – which is considered to be one of the most competitive leagues in the country. Edwards, the 6-1 point guard, has shown his capability of running the show. His incredible court vision, exceptional ball handling skills and unselfish style of play has allowed him to be recognized as one of the best point guards in all of New York City. “I would compare my game to Chris Paul,” says Edwards. “He’s a natural point guard, someone who gets their team involved and gets it done on offense and defense.” And if you’ve seen him play, you can understand the resemblance.
Introduced to the game by his father, former Georgetown Hoya Dave Edwards, Corey was able to learn a lot about the game from a pioneer at a very young age. Throughout his high school career so far, the South Jamaica, Queens native has added new dimensions to his game. He’s also taken on the roles of both ball distributer and defensive stopper.
“His shooting has improved,” says Christ the King head coach Joe Arbitello. “He knows where the ball has to go, and he’s making plays happen. He’s really stepped up as a leader for this team.” During his junior season, Edwards has been named to the CHSAA All-League First Team and has garnered several MVP awards in various tournaments. As he continues to move in the right direction, he will certainly have more awards coming his way.
Omar Calhoun is another major ingredient to Christ the King’s success. The 6-4 Brooklyn bred ballplayer has college coaches like Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan coming to Queens just to see what all the hype is about. Calhoun can shoot the three, the mid-range jumper and get in the lane and score. “I’m a shooter,” says Calhoun, “but I can also handle the ball and get my teammates involved and box out. I’m a big guard who likes to play defense and I just want to do everything I can do to win games.” It’s this type of versatility that makes him one of the top sophomores in the country.
Calhoun began to make a name for himself during his freshman year after breaking the freshman scoring record, dropping 44 points against Xaverian High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.). With the guidance of his father Omar Calhoun Sr., Omar continues to stay focused on accomplishing his goals. “My father was the one that introduced me to basketball,” says Calhoun. “He pushes me both on and off the court. He just wants me to be successful.” Calhoun’s maturity level makes you forget that he’s only a sophomore – this underclassman has stepped into a leader’s shoes. This season, he’s the Royals’ leading scorer, averaging 15.62 points per game. “We like where he’s at right now,” says Coach Arbitello. “He has the potential to be one of the best players to ever come through this school.”
Both players not only put up solid stats on the court, but they do it in the classroom as well. “Corey has a 90 average and Omar has a 92 average,” says Coach Arbitello proudly. “I want these guys to grow as both players and students.” While the offers from Division 1 colleges across the country pour in for both players, the two standouts expressed that the only thing they’re concerned with right now is finishing out the season strong.
“I’m not really thinking about college right now,” says Calhoun. “Right now, I’m just focused on playing and going hard.” Without a doubt, all of that hard work both players are putting in is bound to pay off. The sky is truly the limit for these two.
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