Jamal Crawford: Superstar On and Off the Court
By Ben Soffer, Contributor
Jamal Crawford, New York Knicks superstar, is a giver and a receiver.
Crawford, unlike some other superstars, hasn’t forgotten the little people. To this day, Crawford continues to give back to the community by doing charity work in New York and in his home town of Seattle.
On Tuesday, October 14, 2008, Crawford was awarded the prestigious Thurman Munson Award for giving back to the community.
The humble Crawford said, "I'm honored to be here. I've gotten a lot of awards for a lot of different things, but this is right at the top. When I found out I'd be getting this award I was ecstatic and this day couldn't come fast enough."
Crawford, over his NBA career, has donated approximately $200,000 worth of donations, completely renovating the library in P.S. 58 in the Bronx, constructed a brand new basketball court in his former high school, Rainier High School, hosted the benefit "Give a Tree" during one of his many fundraisers, and founded the Jamal Crawford Foundation.
The Jamal Crawford Foundation's purpose "is to provide inner-city children with experiences and activities to strengthen both their minds and bodies leading to well rounded adults," Crawford said.
In addition to the Thurmon Munson award, Crawford was awarded the NBA Community Assist Award for his Foundation.
Crawford is very proud of his foundation and said, “We really do a lot, we did a charity softball event in Seattle, we donated a library to PS 58 in New York, we got trainers all throughout Seattle to give back to public schools and gyms, we do the giving tree every year around the holidays for the kids. We really do a lot of different things and it is a lot of fun.”
Just because you are on top of the world, you can't forget you roots or where you come from, and as Jamal Crawford says his grandmother once told him, "about karma and giving my all in everything I do and never giving up. Don’t be satisfied,” and he wasn’t satisfied on or off the court.
Even though he won so many worthy awards for his foundation, and giving back to his community, he still wants to do all he can to help his community and the world around him. In addition to his off-court success, Jamal Crawford is one of the most skillful guards in the NBA. Last season, Jamal Crawford, despite the off the court woes of Stephon Marbury and Isiah Thomas—still managed to put up 20-plus points and five assists per gane, which with a little improvement in the points category would make him an All-Star this year.
Hopefully, what Crawford's grandmother told him about karma will affect his play on the Knicks this year and make it a year to remember.