With the Chicago High School Basketball season just around the corner, there’s a lot of conversation going on in the city and no one is talking about Crane. However, Crane’s Head Coach Alonzo Crowder wants to change that.
Coach Crowder begins his 4th year as head coach of the Crane Cougars. He has a 48-55 record in his short time leading the program (73-80 overall record).
After taking over the program in the Blue West division, the school was promoted to the White division, despite a 2-7 conference record, due to the help of the realignment system that promotes and demotes.
After capitalizing off the system glitch in promoting Crane, they surprised many across the city by winning the White division and being promoted to the Red division (city’s super conference). However , things got back to reality when Coach Crowder led his squad to an 0-9 record and were demoted back down to the White division. Crane struggled playing on the city’s top level.
“We are a better team than we showed,” Coach Crowder told ChiScoops, “and obviously we want to win our conference and we expect to make a deep run in the city and state tournaments this year.”
Crane played tough and had a few close games last year, but due to the talent disparity, they we not able to close off any of those conference games.
Coach Crowder’s time at Crane has been full of ups and downs but more of the latter. Things got so bad, he got rid of his entire staff, except 1 coach, due to the lack of success on and off the court. A couple of his highs was bringing in coach Rick Robinson, formerly of Westinghouse College Prep, to lead his JV. He also brought in coach Keenan Robinson (no known coaching experience), and Coach Kris who came over from a successful stint at Curie as an unofficial coach but served as Team Rose’s 14U Head Coach last year.
Lack of success aside, Crane has been selected as an Adidas Legacy team and will wear the Adidas brand this year, along with Austin, Michelle Clark and Prosser.
Crowder’s success as an assistant coach on the Shoe circuit and at Hales Franciscan has been most worth noting. While assisting Hales varsity program, they won two class 2A state championships in 2005-06 & 2010-11, respectively. He has also coached with Meanstreets (Nike) and currently coaches with Team Rose (Adidas). He is said to be one of the head guys on the Team Rose staff and one of the faces of Team Rose Travel Team. He currently the assistant coach for Team Rose 17U where he is under Jerrel Oliver.
In his first head coaching stint at Solario, his affiliation with the shoe circuit allowed him to secure the services of one of the city’s top 8th grader at the time, Khalil Whitney. Whitney enjoyed one great year playing in the Blue West and received all city consideration. However, he and his family decided that playing for Coach Crowder and Solario wasn’t the best fit, and Whitney moved on to Roselle Prep in NJ where he finished his career. He now is enrolled at The University of Kentucky prepping for his Freshman season.
In closing, Coach Crowder will need to upgrade his coaching skills to get his Cougars back on the tongues of Chicago Basketball sports fanatics.
Varsity Head Coaching Experience
12-13 (6-4) Blue West
13-12 (7-3) Blue West
7-15 (2-7) Blue West
17-10 (9-0) White West
10-15 (0-9) Red Northwest
14-15 (8-1) White West