Getting Her Hands Dirty
July 17, 2009
After leading the UT Dallas women's basketball team to its' best season in school history last year, point guard Chelsea Edwards is spending the summer learning the inner workings of her father's Kwik Kar Lube Center outside of Houston, Texas.
Edwards, the all-time leading scorer at UTD, sparked the Comets to their first-ever American Southwest Conference regular season title and a national ranking as high as No. 18 in 2009, but during the summer she has shed her jersey and basketball shoes for some coveralls, working as a licensed State Automobile Inspector.
The native of Friendswood, Texas, has worked at Kwik Kar in the past, helping out with courtesy services like cleaning windshields and vacuuming car mats, but this year she decided to expand her knowledge of automobiles and take a two-day inspector test.
"It was a harder than I thought it would be," said Edwards. "I've learned a lot about cars and how to maintain them and how they operate since working there. You have to know where everything is. You have to check the engine and make sure they have all their valves working, and check their tires and lights and brakes."
Edwards says she meets some very interesting people at the job, and sometimes, customers are not always very cheerful about a failed inspection.
"It was really nerve-wracking when I first got my license because when you fail a car, people ask a lot of questions," said Edwards. "I feel a lot more comfortable around cars and how they work - these are good things to know."
In addition to her Inspector duties, Edwards also assists in the office and at the cash register. "I've also got to see how my Dad runs a small business, and that's really interesting because that is something I'd like to look into," said Edwards. "I've not only seen how to run it, but all of the headaches that come with it."
Edwards recently completed her Bachelor's Degree in business, and will use her last year of eligibility to start working on her Master's.
"Working in a job like this, definitely makes me appreciate getting a college degree," said Edwards. "It's really long hours, and you're outside all day."
Along with experiencing the ups and downs of running a small business, Edwards says playing basketball will also serve her well in the real world.
"You have to learn to work on a team, and be able to work with different people that are motivated differently," said Edwards. "I've learned how to be a leader, not just what I say, but by example. And, of course, I've learned about hard work and discipline.
"I haven't had a real job or internship in the business world, but I think basketball has really prepared me a lot for working in that area."
Edwards, a 2009 ASC Academic All-Conference selection, juggles her time at the shop with keeping in shape for next basketball season by running to work and shooting baskets after closing time. She averaged 13.0 points per game and totaled 86 assists in 26 games last season.