Sports, like many aspects of life, is not about where a person was in the past, but more about where that person is going in the future. For Washington Prep High School basketball player Brandon Crawford, that will be Sampson University in Redding—about 160 miles north of Sacramento—next fall on an athletic scholarship.
Standing at 6’ 7”, and with the ability to play most positions on the court, Crawford has developed into one of the best players in the Federation Los Angeles City Section, and he is the driving force behind Washington Prep’s run to the playoffs. Playing mostly power forward and center, he is averaging 13.0 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He has two triple doubles this season, and twice he has tied the school record with 14 blocked shots in one game.
Crawford is riding high right now.
“It feels really great,” Crawford said. “I’m really grateful. I stayed focused and I never gave up on myself.”
Crawford could have faded away after some rocky times. He started at King Drew Medical Magnet High School, but he was unable to play his freshman season because he was academically ineligible. He was able to play his sophomore year, but the team finished 3-22 that season.
During that time it was not looking too good for Crawford athletically or academically, but with strong support from his mother and sister, he was able to turn it all around. A change of scenery was needed, so he transferred to Washington Prep during his junior year, which meant that he was unable to play for the team that season.
Even though he had to sit out the basketball season, the move to Washington Prep was just what Crawford needed.
“His grades did a complete 180,” said Brandi Goodman, Crawford’s mother. “I was having a hard time trying to figure out why my son was not doing well. I basically told him that he needed to talk to his teachers. I’m a single mother, so I can’t be up there to talk to the teachers. But with me working in the school district, I can see it from both ends.”
“It’s a really big deal for us to make sure that he graduated,” Goodman said. “Most of us are teachers, principals, or social workers. So he does come from a background of education.”
As a single mother, Goodman recognized that she needed to keep her son around positive male role models, so she had him get a part-time job at the local barbershop where he would get his haircut. Crawford started this job when he was only eight years old, and he kept it all the way through last summer.
Being around the right people has molded Crawford into the young man that he is today. On the basketball court, Goodman admits that she does not know much about the sport, but she found the right people who did, and they helped develop him into a great player who has a bright career when he makes it to the next level.