A Lewis & Clark alumnus who played on the LC Men’s Basketball team, Zeke Crawford ’20, is now pursuing a career playing professional basketball in Switzerland.
“Everything was just really eye opening,” Crawford said. “Everybody’s been really nice and welcoming … being in Switzerland; it’s been really nice. I think this is one of the best countries in the world.”
Crawford explained that the adjustment period was a little difficult, but nothing that he regretted. He emphasized that students should not be afraid to travel to a new place.
“I don’t want to say I’m fluent in French because I’m far from it. But the more you’re exposed to it, the more you understand and see the way people act and you can act accordingly. But adjusting is getting out of your comfort zone a little bit but if you’re open to it, the adjusting period won’t be as brutal as it may seem,” Crawford said.
When Crawford first started at LC in his freshman year, he was thrilled to get to keep playing basketball in college. As an upperclassman, he started to seriously consider playing basketball overseas. With support from his coaches and mentors, international basketball seemed to be more of an achievable opportunity.
“I never really got the opportunity to (study abroad) because of the basketball season going through both semesters, but if I had the chance to, I definitely would have just because (of) any excuse to get out of the country,” Crawford said.
Crawford furthered that due to support from his coaches and another LC alum, CJ Appleton, he could cultivate the confidence to play basketball overseas.
“2021 was my first year ever in Europe, so that was something I finally got to scratch off the bucket list, and it was definitely a huge culture shock. Being in a place I’ve never been before every day felt really surreal. Like, am I really here? Am I really doing this?” Crawford said.
Crawford’s advice for students is to work toward a goal, even in times of uncertainty, and just take everything day by day, one step at a time.
“I feel like it may not look how you envision in your head just because life isn’t perfect, but if you have any opportunity, even if it isn’t the opportunity you thought it would come out to be, I would say go for it if you have it,” Crawford said.
He reflected on how his experiences at LC prepared him for living and working in another country. Looking back, he offered advice for current students.
“LC really pushed me to be open and accepting to other people’s cultures and once I got here, I realized that there is truly a whole different world, like there are people who exist on the other side of the planet,” Crawford said. “I feel like especially during the college years you’re really focused on everything in front of you as you should be or like LC seems like the entire world, but I would just say there’s so much more out there and keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.”