Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

May 2, 2009

Jae Crowder moving on with basketball career

AMERICUS — The Georgia Junior College Athletic Association’s Player of the Year is spreading his wings.

Freshman Jae Crowder, who helped lead the South Georgia Tech Jets to their first-ever NJCAA Tournament, is moving on.

Crowder signed with Northwest Florida State on Friday, formerly known as Okaloosa-Walton.

“Due to the non-accreditation of South Georgia Tech, I had to leave to pursue my basketball career,” said Crowder. “(Otherwise), it would be limiting me to where I wanted to go. Being behind, they had the best plan to get my hours in over one year. And due to their background as a good basketball program, I chose that school.”

The Raiders finished 21-7 this season and have won at least 20 games in 11-straight seasons.

Crowder averaged a double-double entering the state tournament of 17 points and a conference-high 10.3 rebounds a game.

The Jets were unbeaten at home this season at 20-0, which included a 68-67 win against Georgia Perimeter in which Crowder had the game-winning three-point play.

Crowder said he looks forward to the next step in his basketball career.

“They send guys to the next level and play in one of the toughest conferences in JUCO basketball,” he said. “This year was good. I don’t regret anything. It was a great chance for me to put my name out there and represent South Georgia Tech, and that’s what I did to the fullest.

“This was like the beginning stage of my life. This is where everything really started for me. I will tell that story from here on down the line. We had a good run, and I loved it. I thank all the fans and booster club and (SGTC) President Sparky Reeves for the part they had with the basketball team and the experience I had.”

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