‘I expect us to go undefeated in the conference’

Jalen Crawley goes in for a layup against Reynolds during the Lash/Chronicle tournament last month.

‘I expect us to go undefeated in the conference’
January 12
05:00 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Winston-Salem Prep’s Jalen Crawley speaks to The Chronicle



Winston-Salem Preps all-purpose guard Jalen Crawley has been playing basketball since age 4. After initially making the varsity team, he was sent down to play junior varsity. His goal this year is to prove he belongs and to bring home a conference championship for the Phoenix.

Crawley is interested in attending Lees-McRea or UNC-Charlotte.  His favorite subjects in school are math and civics.  He says he is interested in studying law but has not totally made up his mind yet.

Crawley was born in Burlington and moved to Winston-Salem when he was 4.  He grew up playing basketball at Reynolds Park recreation center (now known as W.R. Anderson) and was usually the youngest person on his team.  He says playing with the older guys helped develop his game at an early age.

“I started out as a defensive player and then started to work on my midrange game, making moves and blowing past people,” Crawley said. “One player I tried to pattern my game off of is Russell Westbrook because that’s one of my favorite point guards in the NBA along with Chris Paul.”

Jalen’s father, Gregory McAllister, said he started to really notice his talent around the seventh grade when he was playing AAU basketball with the Carolina Tide.  McAllister says Crawley was playing with kids from all around the country as well as older kids and was holding his own. “He’s had a pretty good season, and this summer we have been working out with a trainer. We worked on his midrange jumper,” said McAllister.  “His jumper has improved 100 percent and his defense and ball handling has also improved.  Now we need to back it up a little bit and work on his three-point shooting to really open up the defense.”

Senior Winston-Salem Prep varsity player Levon McCullum said he was taken back by Crawley’s defensive ability and willingness to guard. He says he loves the midrange game Jalen possesses and the fact he is able to get to his “sweet spots” on the court.

Crawley says he wants to work on making his teammates better while on the JV level as he prepares for varsity. He expects the remainder of the season to be very good for him and his team “I expect us to go undefeated in the conference because my team has heart and plays defense,” Crawley continued. “Defense is what wins championships to me.”

Jalen thinks his teammate Essin Arid is an underrated player that needs to stay aggressive because of the skills he possesses.  He says Arid is a severe threat to his opponents once he steps into the paint because of his athleticism. Crawley says when he and Arid are both playing well the Phoenix are a hard team to stop. “When we are both in attack mode you just have to hope we are missing,” he said.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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