Wherever Mike Crawford chooses to play college basketball, he will be the favorite in the team's annual golf outing.
Crawford, a 6-5 small forward from Tipton High School, owns seven career holes-in-one and a zero handicap. He also has an advantage over the ordinary weekend hacker in that he grew up at Tri-Ponds Golf Course, owned by his parents, Mike Sr. and Laurie.
After college, Crawford may pursue a career in golf. But first things first. He goes into the final weekend of July with basketball scholarship offers from Stetson, Gardner-Webb, Lamar, New Orleans and Yale. Several other schools, including Nevada, also have shown recent interest.
"Golf is what I was going to play in college," he said. "But then I decided on basketball. I only have a few years left to play basketball, so I might as well ride it out."
Crawford, whose best round is a 62 at Chippendale Golf Course in Kokomo two summers ago, has talked to the coaches recruiting him about playing on the golf team as a walk-on to keep his game sharp.
"Playing professionally (in golf) is something I've thought about trying," he said. "But who knows? That's still a long ways off."
Recruiting interest in Crawford picked up after a big junior season that ended with a 40-point barrage in a 69-64 loss to Gary Bowman in a Class 2A regional. For the season, he averaged more than 23 points a game.
Crawford said he may use at least a few of his five allotted official visits (paid for by the school) before making a decision. With a 4.2 grade-point average, Crawford said a prestigious academic school such as Yale is intriguing.
"I think I should at least consider it," he said. "I'm planning to major in accounting and see where that takes me."
Freshmen to watch
Incoming North Central freshman Eron Gordon has generated a lot of attention before playing his first varsity game, earning scholarship offers from Arizona State, Indiana, Nebraska and Purdue. Fort Wayne also has a pair of freshmen to watch: Vijay Blackmon and Caleb "Biggie" Swanigan. Coaches from Butler, Indiana and Purdue, among others, have been keeping tabs on them this summer.
The 6-2, 160-pound Blackmon is the younger brother of Indiana recruit James Blackmon Jr. and will play at Fort Wayne Bishop Luers this year. The younger Blackmon said he has a game similar to his brother's.
"He can score a little better than me," Vijay Blackmon said of James, who will be a junior. "I can go the basket a little better than he can. Our games are similar. We're both combo guards, can play multiple positions and are scorers."
The 6-6, 260-pound Swanigan will play at Homestead. He said Purdue has been the school to show him the most interest so far.
After originally committing to Canisius, Hamilton Southeastern G Jacobby Bledsoe has landed at Tennessee Tech. . . . Park Tudor junior F Trevon Bluiett picked up an offer from Cincinnati this week. In the past month, Bluiett has added offers from Butler, Michigan, Louisville and Cincinnati. . . . Cathedral senior G Mo Evans was offered by IPFW on Wednesday. Tulane and Ball State are also showing interest. . . . Tech junior G Jeremie Tyler picked up his first two offers, from Vermont and New Orleans. . . . This is the final weekend of the evaluation period for college coaches. The largest in-state tournament is the Gym Rats Basketball Association National Championships, headquartered at Spiece Fieldhouse in Fort Wayne. The tournament has more than 200 teams, and roughly 200 colleges are expected to be in attendance. The GRBA tourney runs through Sunday afternoon.