Oct. 14, 2000
By Alayne Ruzyla
Sports Information Assistant
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In college basketball, there will always be players who stand out.
Players who the fans love to watch, who know the true meaning of having a
strong work ethic, who understand what it means to be a team leader and
excel rather than give in when the pressure is on. At Florida State
University Adrian Crawford, of the men’s basketball team, is a perfect
example of such a player.
He has all the makings. He is the son of Seminole assistant coach
Coleman Crawford, and is one of three team captains. He is coming off an
injury that left him unable to play half of last season, and aching to
begin this season. With the new basketball season having arrived,
Crawford, one of Florida State’s own stand out players, will combine his
natural talent and love for the game to propel the Seminoles forward.
Life recognizably has its ups and downs for the college athlete.
For some, having their father double as one of their coaches, might be hard
to handle. Adrian Crawford sees it as the reason he decided to attend
Florida State, having spent his freshman year at Tulsa where his father
then coached. He wanted both his mother and father to be able to attend
his games, something he knew would be next to impossible if he was playing
for an opposing team.
“Going through high school,” Adrian said, “My dad never really got
to see me play because he was always coaching.”
When his father and Coach Robinson came to Florida State, Adrian
didn’t hesitate to make the leap as well. It allowed him to continue to
play for the pair, including Coach Robinson, who he has known since the
“I always wanted to play for Coach Robinson, and I knew I wanted to
play for him for all four years,” Adrian recalled.
Through the years, Crawford has come to a mature understanding when
dealing with his relationship with his father. While teammates may
sometimes kid him about being a the son of a coach, Adrian knows and values
what his dad has done for him, and what he continues to do for him daily.
“Sometimes we bump heads, but we’ve learned over the past few years
that once we get home, we let it go. I have to separate it. I understand
that he’s my coach and that he has to tell me things to make me better.
But when we’re at home, he’s my dad,” Adrian said.
Having a strong work ethic is something that is partially instilled
by family, but mainly is a personal effort. It includes self-motivation
and the willingness to work hard. It means giving up is never an option.
In Crawford’s case, these things come quite naturally, and easily fit into
“I think I’ve always known how to work hard,” he said. “I’ve seen
guys who work hard and guys who don’t. I think that when the time comes
that you stop working hard you should stop playing. If I ever find the
point in time where it’s not really worth it, or I don’t feel like working
hard, it will be time to stop playing. If you’re not going to put
everything into it, then there is really no point for you to be playing,
because you are not going to get the results that you want.”
Two years ago in an ACC tournament game against Clemson, Crawford’s
ideals were put to the test.
“We were losing … Ron Hale and Terrell Baker, our two best
players, had fouled out. I had to put everything on my shoulders and just
go with it. I think I did a lot of growing up in a short amount of time
during that game. We won in overtime,” Crawford stated with a smile.
Playing in a dominating conference like the ACC certainly keeps
Adrian performing at top level, something he values.
“Every time you step on the floor you have to be ready to play in
this conference. You can never come out and play half-hearted, because if
you do, you might get blown out that night. I’ve seen conferences where
you can take nights off … I think that’s why ACC teams do so well in the
tournament, because we have great competition year-round. Once the
tournament comes we’ve been playing at that high level all year, and we can
continue to play at that level,” Crawford said.
Playing against those teams each year is exactly what Adrian
dreamed of growing up in Akron, Ohio.
“I look forward to it,” he said, “I love it. I think that if
you’re scared about playing teams like that then you shouldn’t be playing
at this level.”
Being a Leader
The makings of Adrian Crawford are exactly what allow him to be a
team leader. He exemplifies what coaches want from all of their players.
As a result, it wasn’t a difficult decision for the Florida State coaches
when it came time to pick captains. Crawford, whose nickname is “Train”
along with teammates Antwuan Dixon and Delvon Arrington will divvy the
duties this year in practice and games. Adrian plans to implement his
sense of loyalty during his run as team captain.
“If I consider you a friend of mine, especially my teammates, I’ll
do whatever it takes. If you ask me to do something, I’ll try to help you
out in the best way I possibly can,” Adrian said.
This is precisely what the Seminole’s men’s basketball team needs
out of their captains. He hopes to relay his feelings about the game to
the rest of his teammates, and feels that this group is one that can use
his advice and benefit from it.
“I plan on going out and playing as hard as I can, and being a
leader on this team. That way next year, the leadership I showed can
continue on. I think that the guys we have now all play hard,” Adrian
said. They have mental toughness, and I think in the past we haven’t …
when things got tough, we just kind of gave in to what was going on. It
all reflects on the guys you consider your leaders. If the leader isn’t
strong enough to handle certain things, then the rest of the team is going
to fold. I think that the three guys we have as captains are mentally
strong. If things get tough, then we’ll be able to fight through them.”
Crawford is grateful for his chance to be looked up to on the team.
Being named captain was the culmination of years of hard work, and is
something he takes seriously.
“I’ll try to be a positive role model and I’ll try to help my
teammates do the right thing,” he said.
Judging from his past, that shouldn’t be too hard for Adrian to do.