Daily Dad News
Memphis Tiger Basketball Player Uses Father’s Loss As Inspiration
March 15, 2012
Ahead of his Memphis Tigers team’s NCAA March Madness game this Friday against the St. Louis University Billikens, sophomore guard Chris Crawford has even more to play for than advancing past the second round in the intense basketball tournament. Chris’ dad, the late M.C. Crawford, a former semi-pro player and coach, inspired his son at an early age to pick up the game and excel far beyond his own goals.
Chris would join his father as he played with former Memphis standouts Penny Hardaway, Leon Mitchell and Rodney Newsom, learning the game from a unique vantage point in the late 90s. Although the elder Crawford never made it to college or the pros, he was determined to make certain his son would find success on the hardwood.
M.C. Crawford fell ill and passed on New Year’s Eve in 1999, leaving behind three children who were all very close to him. Before he died, M.C. reached out to Newsom and other friends and asked them to provide guidance for his children. Newsom, currently an AAU coach, ran a team that featured a young Chris and helped mold his game. Pushing him to improve, Newsom’s coaching turned the saddened boy into a solid player. However, he was still carrying the loss of his father on his heart.
After starring at Sheffield High School in Memphis, Crawford was heavily recruited by big schools such as Mississippi State and Tennessee, but elected to attend and play for Memphis – cementing a dream his father once held. Using basketball as a connection to his dad, Chris characteristically pats his chest and blows a kiss skyward for M.C., keeping the bond formed many years ago intact as he can.
Source: Commercial Appeal
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