Howard College Men's Basketball Coach Mark Adams said he texted former Hawk star Jae Crowder after learning that he will have a shot to play for the Dallas Mavericks.
“I told (Crowder) my prayers have been answered,” Adams said.
“I am confident that once the Mavs give him some workouts, he will prove himself there.”
Proving himself, according to Adams is nothing new to the 6'6'' Crowder, who was taken as the 34th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA draft, but as a result of a trade agreement with the Mavericks will be heading to Dallas to begin his professional career.
Crowder, a Georgia native, helped guide the Hawks to a JUCO national championship in 2010 before going on to play in the Big East for Marquette, who made an NCAA tournament run this year before falling to Florida in the semifinals.
In addition to being named an National Junior College Athletic Association All-American, Crowder was named the Big East Player of the Year as a senior after season in which he scored 20 points or more in 13 games and reached the double figure mark in 31 out 35 games played.
In addition to being a force on the court, Adams points to Crowder's character as part of the reason for his continued success.
“Everywhere he's gone, he's had to prove himself,” Adams said. “He came up the hard way. He worked hard to come up through junior college, then, he had to prove himself in the Big East. He's always been an undersized post player.
You hear commentators talk about character. There seems to be an emphasis on it in the NBA. They talk about leadership. Without a doubt, (Crowder) has that quality. It's a skill — that's just part of his inventory.”
Crowder will part of a team that won an NBA championship just two years ago. Under the tutelage of high-caliber players such as Dirk Nowitzk and Lamar Odom, there is no telling how well Crowder's talents could develop.
To see Crowder return to Texas to earn a chance to don a Mavs jersey is a payoff for Adams.
“It's exciting for Jae and those who are around him, but it's also exciting for Howard College,” Adams added.
“We can say we had a small part in his success and going to the NBA. We are certainly proud of him.”