02/03/2024

New JackJumpers import Jordon Crawford hopes to 'leave something special behind' during his time in Tasmania. (Picture: @IAM_JCraw / Twitter)

New JackJumpers point guard Jordon Crawford wants to be the floor general who leads the club to its first championship.

The 5’6 American import, who will be one of the shortest players to ever play in the NBL, brings a stacked resume to the Apple Isle spanning multiple leagues across the globe.

Tasmania has defied all expectations during its brief existence after making the grand final in its first year and falling one game short last season in the semi-finals.

But the club is hoping its new ball handler can help it go one step further in NBL24.

Crawford said he will relish the chance to help shape and make a lasting impact on the league’s youngest franchise.

“I think it’s a big opportunity to come into an organisation like that. Even though they’re young already you can tell they have their ways and how they do things,” Crawford said on Friday.

“I’m excited to be a part of that and try to build and maybe leave a legacy. Leave something special behind and be in a first championship for Tasmania, who knows? It’s just fun to be a part of the journey early on and hopefully leave a good mark.”

Crawford signed a one-year deal with Tasmania after a spectacular season for Büyükçekmece in the Basketbol Süper Ligi in Turkey.

He led the league in scoring, averaging 19.6 points along with 5.6 assists per game.

But Crawford said he would tailor his game to suit whatever the team needs, aware of the fact that returning All-NBL First team star Milton Doyle led the JackJumpers in scoring last season.

“When I was in Turkey, the team needed somebody that could score and create for myself or create for others. I’ve also been in teams where I was a second option and played off somebody else,” he said.

“So I’m really just trying to do what the team needs. Milton’s a great scorer, so I can feed off him and make sure I get him going early and then just find where I fit in.”

The Cincinnati native was also conscious of representing the passionate Tasmanian fans with his attitude and drive on the court.

“I feel like Tasmania in general they’re blue collar, tough, hardworking people,” Crawford said.

“I want to reflect them, be a hard worker, the blue-collar guy that gets after it and after each game win or lose they’re proud to be behind us.”

More Basketball News

Where can the next NBL expansion franchise land?

NBL24 Fixture Analysis

The formidable charm of Ben Ayre

JackJumpers co-chief executive officer Jorrick Chivers explained the rationale behind signing Crawford and their other off-season moves, saying the team wanted to add more size and scoring to its roster.

“When we were looking at our options this year, we wanted to move the needle a little bit in terms of our outside scoring and that is something we’ve done with (Anthony) Drmic and Junior Madut. We think we’ve probably got some additional firepower from the perimeter,” Chivers said.

“Then with our import spots, we wanted to get a little bit more size which we did with Marcus (Lee). That’ll take the pressure off Will (Magnay), but also give Jordon and Milton some lob options rolling through the paint on top of Will as well.

“We wanted a little bit more scoring out of our point guard which Jordon definitely brings, but I don’t think we’ve compromised on leadership or playmaking ability there either.”

Crawford’s arrival comes at the expense of fan-favourite Josh ‘Jet’ Magette with the American point guard departing the JackJumpers after being there for the first two seasons.

Chivers said it was a “very tough conversation” to have with the team’s vice-captain after Magette and his family had become beloved members of the club.

“’Jet’ is a guy that all the Tasmanians love and us as an organisation love him too. I had a chat with him on Monday and sort of ran through what was happening,” he said.

“It’s really, really hard to say goodbye to good people but honestly that’s just part of the business as well. I think as a club we like to embrace these guys … we like to make their families feel welcome and I guess the flip side to that is that when you do let guys go it hurts.”

Crawford was the JackJumpers’ third and final import signing with the team only having one local spot left to fill on its roster. Chivers also confirmed the chances of Tasmania securing a Next Star are “pretty slim now”.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

About Author