If you're a sports fan from the South Florida area, you are probably familiar with the name Edwin Rios. If you aren't, let's fill you in on this once highly-touted player.
Edwin Rios, or Eddie as he goes by, is a 6-foot 190-pound point guard for the University of Miami. A homegrown talent, Rios graduated from Miami Senior High, one of the most storied high school basketball programs in the state.
His freshman year at Miami High, Rios averaged 22 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals per game, becoming the first freshman in the school's history to average over 20 points per game. He also made a name for himself with his AAU team, Team Breakdown, and he broke Carmelo Anthony's scoring record at the Las Vegas Big Time Tournament.
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Rios put on a show at the Las Vegas Big Time Tournament against some of the nation's top prospects.
As a sophomore, Rios averaged 25.4 points and led Miami High to the 2005 Florida class 6A state championship, with help of fellow current Hurricane Dwayne Collins, who was a year ahead of Rios in school.
During that year, Rios verbally committed to UM, and was considered one of the top point guard prospects in the class of 2007. That year, Collins graduated and signed with UM, and Rios, following an incident at school where his car was broken into and he was threatened with notes by some classmates, transferred to Chaminade Madonna (Hollywood, Fl). A big deal was made of his transfer and all the accompanying details of what caused it.
That season, as a junior, Rios averaged 20 points and 10 assists per game and led Chaminade to a school-record 25-5 record and their first regional final appearance in 40 years.
Following his junior year, in which he was named to the all-state first-team for the third straight year, he transferred back to Miami High because his family didn't think the other school was adequately preparing him for college. Rios' stock was falling, as he was once considered a top recruit nationally.
His senior season back at Miami High, Rios averaged 26.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists and was again named to the all-state first-team.
After a high school career that had its ups and downs, from winning a state title and being a local high school legend, to having his car broken into and being threatened by fellow students, Rios finally fulfilled his verbal commitment from his sophomore year, and signed with UM.
He didn't have the immediate impact that some people expected from him following two-plus years of hype before his arrival. His freshman season, last year, he averaged 3.4 points in just 14 minutes per game.
This season, he was averaging 4.7 points per game in fewer minutes, but was suspended from the team in December for two days, and again earlier this month for violation of team rules. A career that looked like the sky was the limit just a few years ago while he was in high school began to take a free fall.
That free fall culminated Wednesday when Rios was arrested in Miami and charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of grand theft. He was released after posting the $22,500 bond.
This fallen local star looks like his time in the South Florida limelight is finally coming to an unfortunate end. It really is sad to see such a talented individual go through various problems, especially when it culminates in something like this.
We are all human, and we all make mistakes, but athletes like this, ones that are given every opportunity to succeed and become role models (such as Rios hoped to become for Cubans as a star basketball player), need to learn that they can't get away with everything. It is really a sad story of a kid that showed so much promise growing up, but it is also one that we see all too often.