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CHAMPAIGN — Before Taylor Edwards was a four-year player on the Illinois softball team, she was the Herald & Review Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year in 2014 while at Arcola.

Edwards is going back to the hardwood for her final season of college eligibility. 

Illinois women's basketball and head coach Nancy Fahey announced the addition of Edwards to the Illini women's basketball program for the 2019-20 campaign. A four-year letterwinner on the Illinois softball team, Edwards will spend her fifth year of enrollment on the basketball court.

"We are excited to have Taylor join our basketball program after a great career with the Illinois softball program," Fahey said in a statement. "Taylor's commitment, work ethic and love of the Illini are readily apparent the minute you meet her. Although the sport is different, her competitive attitude is something any coach would want in their program."

"I love this game and I love this school so much," Edwards said in the statement. "I am so incredibly thankful for the chance to play again, and I am even more excited for the opportunity to wear 'ILLINOIS' across my chest for one more year. This place is special."

A three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and 2018 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Edwards registered a 3.41 career ERA with a 37-19 overall record in 101 appearances in the circle for the Illini. The 2018 Fighting Illini Spirit Award winner and Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award honoree, Edwards collected 120 strikeouts in 357.2 innings of action.

Prior to her time at Illinois, Edwards was a four-sport athlete at Arcola, competing in volleyball, softball, basketball and track. Edwards scored 1,476 career points at Arcola, setting the school record in her senior year and was named the Herald and Review All-Area Player of the Year in 2014. She was a four-time first-team all-conference basketball and volleyball player and a three-time all-conference track star.

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