Photo by Jo Tabacek

Zeke Crawford ’20 concludes his LC career with 1,000 point milestone

ALTHOUGH Lewis & Clark’s men’s basketball team lost their season-ending game against Pacific Lutheran University on Feb. 22, Zeke Crawford ’20 ended the game and his collegiate career in triumph. As Crawford stood at the free-throw line, he already had 20 game points under his belt. The crowd cheered and chanted his name. An overall victory for the Pioneers was out of reach – the Lutes led by nearly double-digits in the final 12 seconds of the game – but there was still a monumental achievement to be had. As Crawford sank the first of his two free throws, the crowd exploded. He had just earned 1,000 career points in the last game of his collegiate career. “I’ve been playing (basketball) ever since I could walk,” Crawford said. During the interview, Crawford recollected his time playing the sport as he sat in the waiting area of the Pamplin Sports Complex. He looked comfortable in the familiar space. He undoubtedly spent countless hours training in the gym over the past four years. As he leaned back on the black leather couch, a humble and unassuming demeanor encompassed him. He spoke about his impressive accolade like you might hear someone talk about the weather. He revealed that he tried to go into his last game with an equally cool mindset. “I knew I needed exactly 21 points… I’m like 21? That’s easy. I could do that.” Crawford said. With an average of 14.8 points per game, Crawford had his work cut out for him, but he proved his skill as the game leader in both points and rebounds for the Pioneers. Although he remained level-headed prior to the game, he revealed how his mid-game nerves almost prevented him from earning his 1,000th point. “I think I was thinking about it a little bit too much because I could easily have (scored) way over 21 … I was definitely nervous, especially in the first half … but then I was just like ‘Let’s just have fun. You know, this last one, let’s just have fun,’” Crawford said. Although his nerves almost got the best of him, he explained how the support he received from the LC community helped him during the game and throughout his career. “People here (at LC) just want to help you … that’s just something very common here,” Crawford said. “So it’s just kind of like putting yourself out there genuinely and knowing that you have to back the desire you have with the work ethic.” He also received support from his family, who traveled to LC from his hometown of San Francisco to cheer him on during the game. “It was kind of like a story because my family was there,” Crawford said “I’ll never forget this, I was on the free-throw line. Everyone’s like, ‘Zeke, Zeke, Zeke.’ (It) made me almost cry on the court. Everyone was just super happy for me.” Crawford concluded by reflecting on the tools to his success. “When you’re surrounded by good people, the sky’s the limit.”

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