Please tell us a little bit about yourself.


My name is Aaliyah Edwards. I was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario. 


I come from a very athletic family so growing up I played multiple sports. In fact I played on almost every sports team at my elementary school but Track and Field and Basketball were my favorite sports. 


I started playing competitive basketball in grade 6 with my city’s Club Team (Kingston Impact) where my mom and oldest brother, and eventually Coach Carmen were my coaches. Around that same time, I also competed in cross country and track events. In fact I set a District High School Record in the 200m (27.19 sec) in grade 8.


Fast forward to high school, while in Grade 10, I competed at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association for both Track and Field and Senior Girls Basketball. I placed 2nd in 300m hurdles and Triple Jump, and my basketball team finished first in Div 2.  Prior to that I had also made the 2016 Ontario Provincial Basketball Team. It was shortly after making this team that I decided to really focus on developing into an elite basketball player. Since making this decision,  I’ve competed with the Provincial Team twice, represented my country on the national stage for 4 consecutive years, moved to another city to attend school (Crestwood Preparatory College), competed in the All-Canadian Biosteel games and have had many opportunities to play in several high profile basketball tournaments and events. It’s crazy to think that I was just 14 years old when I was first selected to play for the Canadian National Women’s Basketball Team and now at age 17, I am not only a member of the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team but also the youngest member on the squad! My dream is to make the 2021 Olympic team and have the opportunity to compete for an Olympic medal!!  With all that said I am truly blessed with all the opportunities I have had and continue to have but in all honesty wouldn’t be the person I am today without my family. Their support and encouragement have helped me to be where I am today.


What is the best advice you’ve received as a leader or athlete? How do you apply this advice?


The best advice I’ve received as a leader and an athlete is “You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable”. Meaning, it’s good to feel uncomfortable because it helps you overcome your fears and uncertainties in life. This quote resonates with me in everything that I do. Whether that be presentations in class, introducing myself to strangers, or learning a new move/skill in ball that feels “awkward”…. There are so many situations that I encounter on a daily basis where I can relate this quote to. I have been able to grow as a student-athlete and a person by flourishing in uncomfortable situations and gaining success from it.


What are some strategies you use to balance sport and academics? 


Some strategies that I use to balance academics and sport is time management and communicating with my teachers/coaches. By planning out my day and managing my time with various assignments It allows me to be more organized. I set aside time for school work and then plan time for basketball training and strength & conditioning workouts. In addition, my approach in balancing academics and sports is to ensure everyone involved such as my teachers and coaches are always kept informed so we can all work together and make any adjustments necessary to achieve this balance. As a student-athlete, both of these strategies are critical to my development and success.


What advice do you have for parents, coaches or sport administrators to encourage or improve sport for females?


The advice I would give to parents, coaches, or sport administrators to improve sport for females is to advocate for equal opportunity and increased awareness of the accomplishments of women’s sport on a consistent basis. The contribution can be as little as posting articles or empowering players on social media platforms or as big as 52 Strong Campaign where you can read about a whole page of amazing young women whose stories will motivate you. 


Growing up I would have more access to NBA games but rarely any WNBA games. You would have to

subscribe to a streaming site like ESPN to watch games whereas the NBA is live-streamed on TSN every night. It’s important to promote women in sport as well as men to provide young female athletes with a variety of role models to encourage them inside and outside of the classroom. When I was younger my role models were mostly male basketball players until I became aware of players like Kia Nurse who I first met in 2016 and is now my teammate on the Senior Women’s National Team. Now I have a whole list of female athletes that not only do I look up to but who I can reach out to as my mentors and role models. I believe having a mentor is crucial to my success. 

What is a quote that motivates you?


“I want to send a message to girls younger than me that no matter your age, how big or small you are, you can make it if you put in the work and the effort.” – Aaliyah Edwards


  • 2010 Kingston Lakers Basketball association 
  • 2011 Lakers Basketball House League Participant Award ( just getting started )
  • 2012 Lakers Basketball House League Participant Award ( still learning the game, no real clue what I’m doing…lol)
  • 2013 Hoopsters Tournament MVP
  • 2015-16  Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic school Mary Kenny Memorial Award of Merit 
  • 2015 Slam Classic Bantam AA Tournament MVP
  • 2015 Chris Paulin Memorial Tournament Bantam Girls AAA Tournament MVP
  • 2015 Ontario Basketball Bantam Girls Basketball Gold Medalist 
  • 2016 Ontario Basketball Major Bantam Girls Bronze Medalist 
  • 2016 Member of Team Ontario U15 Provincial Basketball Squad
  • 2016 Canletes – 1st Team All Star 
  • 2016 Crown the Queen Tournament All-Star
  • 2016 Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association AA Tournament Champion – Team Captain 
  • 2017 Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association AA Tournament Champion- Team Co-Captain
  • 2017 Kiwanis International Kingston Amateur Sports Award (Basketball)  
  • 2017-2018 Frontenac Secondary School Senior Girls Basketball Team MVP
  • 2017 Team Ontario U15 Nationals – Tournament   MVP
  • 2018 Capital Courts Showcase MVP
  • 2018 JUEL Of Ontario Basketball League –  Bronze Medalist
  • 2018 JUEL Of Ontario Basketball League  – All-Defensive Team 
  • 2018 Short listed for Canada Basketball Commonwealth Team
  • 2018 JUEL Of Ontario Basketball League  – 1st  Team All Star 
  • 2018 Centennial Colts Classic Platinum Division All Star 
  • 2018 Canada  Basketball U18 National Team – Team Captain  & Silver Medalist!!
  • 2018-2019 CISAA Senior Girls Basketball Division 1 Champions
  • 2018-2019 Crestwood Preparatory College Elite Girls Basketball – Team MVP
  • 2019 Member of the Canada Basketball Junior National Team 
  • 2019 Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative Athlete of the Month 
  • 2019 Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association  – First Team All-Star
  • 2019 New York City Rose Classic Super Jam Basketball – Tournament MVP
  • 2019 Boo Williams/Nike Invitational- Tournament MVP
  • 2019 Chris Smalling Girls High School Basketball – Tournament All Star
  • 2019 Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association High School Finals MVP
  • 2019 NBA/FIBA Basketball Without Borders Tournament MVP ( International Tournament held in Tampa, Florida)
  • 2019 Ballin Across Borders War Games – Tournament MVP
  • 2019 Current Member of Canada Basketball Senior Women’s National Team!!!!!
  • 2020 Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (High School) Back to back Champions
  • 2020 Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (High School) Finals MVP
  • 2020 Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (High School) League MVP
  • 2020 Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (High School) Defensive player of the Year
  • 2020 Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (High School) First Team All-Star
  • 2020 Biosteel All-Canadian Girls Player of the Year