Former Seattle Storm center and WNBA champion Simone Edwards died Thursday at the age of 49 after a battle with ovarian cancer.

Edwards, who was born in Jamaica and earned the nickname the “Jamaican Hurricane” from Storm fans, played junior college basketball in Oklahoma before starring for the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1994 to 1997. She helped lead Iowa to a Big Ten regular-season championship title in 1996 and the Big Ten tournament title in 1997.

After her successful college career, she joined the New York Liberty in 1997 – the WNBA’s inaugural season – as a developmental player. She didn’t play in the league, though, until 2000, when she joined the Seattle Storm for their first season.

She spent six seasons in Seattle, averaging 5.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. A member of the Storm’s first-ever championship team in 2004, she retired from the WNBA ahead of the 2006 season. At the time, she was Seattle’s all-time leader in rebounds, games and minutes played.

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2021.

“Our Jamaican Hurricane was a warrior on and off the court,” the Storm tweeted Thursday. “With her indefatigable energy and optimism, she brought happiness to so many. Our thoughts and condolences are with Simone’s family and loved ones at this time.”

In a reply to a tweet from the WNBA, NBA star Pau Gasol expressed his “deepest condolences” to her family and friends.

Lauren Jackson, who played with Edwards on the Storm, tweeted out a video of the two of them together and said that her “heart is broken.”

“Rest in Peace beautiful Angel,” she added. “You will be dearly missed and loved every day.”

Chastity Melvin, who starred in the WNBA around the same time as Edwards, wrote that she is “so sad” to hear of Edwards’ passing.

“I thought she was going to beat this thing,” she wrote.