Memphis lands local shooting guard

Often times, when a player suffers a major injury it can have a negative impact on their recruitment. For Markel Crawford, it didn't hurt him one bit.
Wednesday afternoon, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Memphis (Tenn.) Melrose committed to hometown Memphis during an unofficial visit to the school.
In doing so, he is realizing a dream says Melrose coach Jermaine Johnson.
"It's a lifelong dream of his," Johnson told "From the time he was in the eighth grade we always knew he had the potential to be a special basketball player. But, we didn't know at the time he had the potential to be the best player in the state of Tennessee."
According to Johnson, the fact that Crawford -- who currently ranks No. 86 in the 2013 Rivals15 -- recently tore his ACL didn't deter Josh Pastner and his staff at all.
"He's become mentally stronger from all of this," said Johnson. "He just had surgery but his hometown team still wanted him despite of all the negativity some had about his situation. He's upbeat, they are upbeat and they are excited."
A physically tough wing with high level athleticism and big time ability on the defensive end, Crawford is a versatile wing. He scores off the dribble, is a threat as a jump shooter and is a very selfless player who has learned from the likes of Adonis Thomas and Chris Jones that he played with during his earlier years at Melrose.
"Coach Pastner is the only coach that I talked to that is thinking like I'm thinking with Markel," said Johnson. "I used to always tell him that he's a point guard because he's so unselfish.
"He doesn't want to go and take 20 shots a game. He makes other players better. He defends really well and he is really starting to rebound the ball too. That's the kind of guard you need going into the Big East."