"This Was Joseph's Choice"

Michigan&#8217;s longtime courtship of Detroit Renaissance&#8217;s <strong>Joe Crawford</strong> came to an end tonight when he pledged to the Kentucky Wildcats. Late this evening I spoke with Joe&#8217;s mother, Sylvia, about her son&#8217;s choice and the rationale behind it.

I placed a call to the Crawford household early this evening in order to ascertain if there had been any changes in Joe’s recruitment in lieu of Rajon Rondo’s commitment to Kentucky. At that time Mrs. Crawford informed me that they wouldn’t be conducting any interviews tonight. Later the reason why became evident. Joe was in the middle of informing the coaches at both schools remaining on his list that he would be attending the University of Kentucky. Later in the evening after everyone had been informed Mrs. Crawford called me back to answer any questions that I had about her sons choice. “I wanted to give you a call because we felt like you always had Joseph’s best interest at heart, we liked the way you covered him, and you always treated him fairly,” Mrs. Crawford said. “Things were moving kind of fast this evening and we were trying to be sensitive to all of the coaches involved.”

The most pressing question obviously was why did this decision come down so soon after downplaying the comments in the Lexington Herald Leader last week by Mr. Crawford. Did Rajon Rondo’s decision indeed have an impact on things? “He’s been feeling pretty strongly about Kentucky for a while now,” Mrs. Crawford said. “My husband’s comments were sort of a clue to that. The commitment of the other guard really had no effect on Joseph’s decision. The reaction to the article last week was what sped up the process some. He wanted to wait until the end of the season, but the way everyone reacted made us sit down and think about things a little sooner. However, had he waited he still probably would have picked Kentucky.”

Kentucky’s prestige and the direction of one of the better coaches in the nation (Tubby Smith) were obvious factors in Crawford’s ultimate decision. However, despite the number of guards that will be on the Wildcat roster next year, the opportunity for playing time in Lexington was the biggest attraction. “In the end he liked the opportunity that Kentucky presented for him to come in an work for a position that someone hadn’t already established themselves at,” Mrs. Crawford said.

A few months back Mrs. Crawford made it clear that it was she and her husband that called off a scheduled press conference to allow there son more time to think. This evening she further indicated that while providing guidance to their son in this process, they allowed Joe to make his own decision. “This was Joseph’s choice,” Mrs. Crawford said. “He felt really strongly about it and that’s how I wanted him to feel. I didn’t want him to make another choice that he would feel unsure about. If there were any question in his mid he wouldn’t have called and given Coach Smith his commitment tonight.”

GBW would like to thank Joe Crawford and family for their indulgence over the past year and wish them luck in the future.


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