Isaiah Crawley (201-PF-98, college: Georgia South) is a 22 year old 201cm forward from Ripley, Tennessee that is playing his rookie season with the Tigers Tuebingen (Germany-ProA) currently averaging 16,9ppg, 5,2rpg and 2,3apg. He has scored in double figures in 13 games including 31 points against Ehingen and 29 points against the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. He began his basketball career at Ripley High School. He played at Columbia State Community College (JUCO) from 2016-2018 and then moved to Georgia Southern University (NCAA) averaging 11.6ppg, 5.5rpg, FGP: 63.5%, 3PT: 28.3%, FT: 61.7% as a junior and as a senior averaged 13.2ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 61.8%, 3PT: 32.4%, FT: 67.3%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.
Thanks Isaiah for talking to germanhoops.com. How have you experienced the whole COVID-19 crisis in the last year? You played your last NCAA game on March 11th against Georgia State with a massive win and 15/16 explosion. How tough was it ending your season like that never finding a winner in the Sun Belt tournament and was that game in your thoughts a lot this summer as it was your last?
I’ve been just trying to keep my mindset on the bigger picture really. That game definitely had an impact on us all because we were on a roll and really clicking. It is what it is though
How much did the last months change your life and how much of a challenge was it finding the time and places to be able to stay in shape and be able to work on your game?
I really focused on my diet during the pandemic and basketball wise I didn’t have a gym until the last few weeks before I left to get here so I was using the time to run and stay in shape that way.
How do you feel did COVID-19 make you stronger as a man?
Maybe not physically but definitely mentally. Knowing that I didn’t have anywhere to play ball at was tough but I got through it. Everything was just at a stand still for a while which was mind blowing
Congrats on signing with German Pro A club Tigers Tuebingen. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball?
I didn’t know much. I looked up a couple of the players and googled the place and I really liked it.
Do you remember hearing any stories at Georgia Southern about Julius Jenkins who played at your school in the early 2000’s? He was a legend in the German BBL league.
No sir. I’ve never heard of him.
Have you had any friends, ex teammates or ex opponents play in Germany?
No sir. Couple of teammates that played elsewhere
What was your first impression of head coach Danny Jansson? What really impressed you most about him in talks?
He was a cool guy and really understood what he wanted from me and what kind of team he wanted this year and that caught my attention
The Tigers Tuebingen are really impressed with your abilities. What was the deciding factor that influenced you most to joining the Tigers?
Mainly because it was a good offer and I felt like I didn’t need to turn it down
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a very versatile forward that can really do it all. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
I would say Michael Beasley or Blake Griffin
You like many players that go overseas had to began in JUCO before showing your abilities in the NCAA. Did you have a chip on your shoulder early on and how is it resting on your shoulders now after a strong NCAA career?
Juco sculpted me when it came to becoming mentally and physically because juco was a dogfight because everybody was fighting for the same spots. I just want to grind and to the best version of myself
You can shoot, rebound, play the pick and roll, pick and pop and are a defender with a lot of potential. Would it be fair to say that you are a modern day 2020 player?
Yea but I have mindset of an old player. Most players nowadays like playing one on one and I’m not really a fan of it
With so many abilities on the court that you possess, what do you believe is your absolute biggest asset on your court besides your versatility?
I would say being a team player. I believe in everybody having a part and doing their job instead one or two guys
On what things were you working most on this summer on your game so that you will be best prepared for your rookie season overseas?
Mainly my jumper. I can shoot but I know I would have to shoot more because of player differences compared to college
With so many strengths in your game, what do you honestly believe is a hidden strength in your game that still gets overlooked today?
My jumper definitely. A lot of people think I can’t but it’s more of me not shooting. I like driving ball and I have more success when I drive and don’t settle. I can definitely shoot though
You began your career at Columbia State Community College (JUCO). How vital were these 2 years there and how did your game benefit most from it?
Cstate made me into a more versatile player. I began shooting more developed a better handle and came out of the paint unlike I was in high school. I became a 3 4 instead of a 5. Juco basketball is not for the weak.
You then played at Georgia Southern (NCAA) from 2018-2020 reaching the Sun Belt tournament semi-finals and in 2020 the quarterfinals winning but then COVID-19 ending your season. What was your fondest moment at this school on and off the court?
I would say just being with the guys. Those two years were 2 great years and I’ve made friendships that’ll last a lifetime and I’m more than grateful.
You had your best scoring game against N Florida with 31 points the most of a player at your school since 2001 but lost 80-77. Is this one of those games that you will never forget?
I wish had our whole team that game but we only had 7 but that game was crazy. We came back towards the end but they held us off. It’s definitely a memory that’ll last
You beat UL-Monroe twice as a junior and had talented forward Travis Munnings number in each win. What memories do you have battling him and are you surprised that he hasn’t reached high levels in Europe yet?
I didn’t really know but he’s a good player. It wasn’t like a rivalry or anything but I don’t really remember what he did vs us.
How did head coach Mark Byington groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
He pushed me to be the best player I could be and the best leader I could be. The way he wanted me to lead that team really made me learn ways to lead which opened my eyes a lot and prepared me.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Trey Dawkins?
Me. Every time lol
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NAIA or anywhere that went to the NBA?
I haven’t played against anyone that’s in the NBA.
Please list your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Ike Smith Montae Glenn Tavon King Tookie Brown Adrian Hicks
Please construct your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present players?
Kobe Mj Lebron KD
What is your personal opinion between the never ending debate between Michael Jordan and Lebron James concerning who is the greatest of all-time?
I think Jordan’s is the greatest to play from his era and Bron statistically is the greatest of this era. Durant is the best pure player to me
What was the last movie that you saw?
I watched a movie call the old guard
That’s Isaiah for the chat.