Meet the 7-foot skateboarder turned Oregon prep basketball project

Skateboarding enthusiast Sundiata Edwards (33) is a 7-foot center for Oregon's defending Class 5A state champions --

Sundiata Edwards can probably gleam the largest cube you've ever seen.

Skateboarding is the Portland (Ore.) Jefferson High senior's first love, but since he happens to be 7 feet tall, enough people prodded him into playing basketball that he eventually caved as a junior. Let's just say he was a project -- so raw that Democrats coach Pat Strickland tried to keep opponents mystified by hiding him during warmups.

"Last year, he couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time," Strickland told The Oregonian in a feature detailing Edwards' adjustment to the game. "In pre-game stuff, I used to almost make him sit down because he was missing layups and looked so bad."

After shrugging off suggestions he should join the powerhouse Jefferson basketball program as a freshman and sophomore -- sticking to ollies, daffies and butter flips instead -- he rarely saw action as a junior, although he caught basketball fever during the Democrat's run to last year's Class 5A state championship.

“He’s come a long way,” added Strickland. “I really think he could play community college basketball next year. Obviously, he’s a project. But now, he gets mad at me when he doesn’t play.”

Which means Edwards has been pretty mad this season. He played just five minutes over three games in the annual holiday Les Schwab Invitational, according to The Oregonian. Although, he was on the floor for Kadeem Strickland's ridiculous sidearm buzzer beater.

And Coach Strickland plans to implement the 7-footer into more games this season. And, if not, he's always got a chance to be the tallest X Games competitor in history.

- - - - - - -

Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Prep Rally on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow Prep Rally on Twitter!