Campus: Old Westbury Major: Business Administration, B.S.
Basketball has shaped the life of two-time NYIT Athletics Hall of Famer Peter Edwards (B.S. ’83). At NYIT, he was a member of the NCAA Final Four team in 1980 and remains fourth in all-time NYIT career steals and third in all-time career assists. Since then, he has impacted the lives of countless young men as the organizer of legendary basketball tournament IS-8. The tournament draws top high school basketball players from across the United States. Alumni include NBA stars LeBron James, Stephon Marbury, and Lamar Odomnot to mention several NYIT athletes and assistant coaches.
Edwards took over the organization in 1984 because he “wanted to give back to the neighborhood that helped raise me.” After returning to South Jamaica, N.Y., he found his hometown drastically altered due to crime and drugs. Basketball had provided a “safe haven” for Edwards as a child, and he was determined to use the sport to help others.
IS-8’s slogan is “Bring Your Game, Not Your Name.” It is open to all talented playersfrom the best in the bunch to those whose grades don’t qualify them for school teams. For Edwards, who studied business administration management at NYIT, the definition of success goes beyond basketball. “I want to see young people go to school, graduate from college, and become functioning human beings in our society,” he says.
Many people are surprised to hear that IS-8 is not Edwards’ whole life. He also has a demanding job as borough deputy director of the New York City Housing Authority. In his three decades with the organization, he has managed housing in almost every borough. “I have a passion for it because there are good people who live behind those doors,” he says.
After spending 30 years helping others through basketball, the only thing Edwards asks in return is for tournament alumni to give back. “Show your face and connect with the kids,” he says.