"My daughter has traditional values that would make it hard for her to be swayed by glitter, bright lights and empty promises," said assistant Hawkeye Women's Basketball Coach Michael Morgan.
This was not a process that was set in place many years ago. There was no guarantee that Coach Morgan would be in the college coaching ranks and have the chance for his daughter to play under him. Before coming back to the University of Iowa, Morgan worked for a company in West Des Moines. He also continued with his love of basketball as an assistant in the boys program at Urbandale High School.
"While Crystal lived with her mother and stepfather in Louisiana during the school year, she always stayed with me in Iowa during the summer months. Therefore, she saw first hand, at an early age, the values that most Iowa kids display in their everyday lives" added Morgan.
While assisting with the Urbandale program, Michael was noticed by Lisa Bluder when she was the head basketball coach at Drake University. "Lisa asked me to work the Drake camps during the summer. Since Crystal was here during that period, she also attended the Drake basketball camps. That is where she became very familiar with Coach Bluder and her staff," said Morgan.
Crystal Smith earned many kudos during her career in high school basketball in Haughton, Louisiana. She was first team All State Class 4A her final two years of school. Although she sometimes played point guard, she will play the off guard at Iowa. She displayed similar athleticism and shooting skills that her father showed at the same school when he caught the eye of then Hawkeye men's basketball coach George Raveling in the 1980's.
"I relish the opportunity to spend more time with Crystal. She literally could have gone about anywhere to continue her basketball career. It's a very special thing to be able to coach your daughter," added Morgan.
Certainly, fans of the women's Hawkeye basketball team will relish the next four years of seeing Crystal's scoring ability in a Hawkeye uniform.
Most freshman athletes go through a period of homesickness when they first arrive at a major university. Although Crystal Smith will certainly face adjustments in her school and social life, the Louisiana native should feel like she is at home when she arrives on the Iowa campus this summer. She will renew old acquaintances with Hawkeye head coach Lisa Bluder and assistant coach Jan Jensen from those summers in Des Moines years ago. Oh yeah, there's also this other guy. Crystal calls him Dad.
Happy Fathers Day!