I drank every drop. My thoughts and prayers go out to Ron Crawford and his family during this time. He especially loved finding out the AAU had national tournaments for different age groups and that “you could take a bunch of kids from Arkansas and go compete for a national title. "There were kids that probably never would've left the inner city of Little Rock and got a chance to travel the country, play basketball, and see things they would never see," Adams said. His family announced Crawford's passing on his Facebook page. Crawford's teams finished in the top 10 at the national tournament 16 times. Delivering the most interesting Arkansas sports news, commentary & analysis, BasketballRazorback basketball August 16, 2020 [email protected]. The Wings won a total of nine national championships in the 16-under, 17-under and senior divisions. Coach Ron Crawford was a influential part of many young men in the grassroots program here in Arkansas.

He called the office of Eddie Sutton, then the Razorbacks’ head basketball coach. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing. A slower pace and better schools for his children, Linda and Keith, were also pluses. He was 76. Crawford, though, was young for his grade and couldn’t make the school teams he wanted. Crawford, who entered a hospice facility July 7 after enduring health issues, founded and coached the Wings in 1980. Ron Crawford Death | Ron Crawford Obituary – Architect of AAU basketball in Arkansas, Ron Crawford age 76 passed away peacefully, Ron Crawford, founded the Arkansas Wings AAU basketball program in 1980 and turned it into a national power.

Cutts also headlined the first Arkansas Wings team.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'bestofarkansassports_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_2',124,'0','0'])); Below is a story I wrote a few years ago for Letterman Magazine after interviewing Crawford about those Wings and his basketball story: Today, in Arkansas prep basketball circles, the words “Arkansas Wings” are synonymous with “winner.” It’s an inevitable association, considering the 12 national championships and multiple NBA players the prestigious AAU program and its 22 total teams have produced over the decades. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. The Wings organization produced SEC players of the year Corliss Williamson and Bobby Portis at Arkansas, as well as former Razorbacks Moses Kingsley, Jason Jennings, Hunter Mickelson, Rashad Madden and Dusty Hannahs. "He gave all of us an opportunity to pursue our dreams, and he did it unselfishly," Williamson said. That's one thing you could expect from coach Crawford is he was going to make sure you worked hard.". Our commenting system is more compatible with, Ron Crawford is shown outside a Pulaski County Courtroom, Friday, June 16, 2006, in Little Rock. Crawford credits his family’s support and God’s blessing  for the success of his 41-year-old business Southland Metals, Inc. and the Wings program it has helped finance. !Peace & Comfort to the Crawford family pic.twitter.com/yjVh4ub9hC. Copyright © 2020, Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and noncommercial use. Crawford began working more often with young people after he became a power tools salesman and was recruited to start a new company in Little Rock, which had been part of his territory. The Wings won a total of nine national championships in the 16 … Crawford, who entered a hospice facility July 7 after enduring health issues, founded and coached the Wings in 1980. Ron Crawford, the longtime AAU basketball coach of the Arkansas Wings organization, died Saturday morning. Material from the Associated Press is Copyright © 2020, Associated Press and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. That team played in various leagues including a men’s AAU league.

You can join the discussion by using another browser, like, It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. He also worked on the committee that selected coaches and players for the Youth Development Festival from 2000-04. He was all about the kids. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like, It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. "I was never good enough to play at that level, but I always followed coach Crawford and his players over the years, and then when I was in a position where I could afford to be a part of it.

So Pat let me come work one of Eddie Sutton’s camps and I learned a lot that week from them. When I got into coaching, if I ever needed anything I could call on him, and I knew he would be there and I could get some advice.". The Wings won a total of nine national championships in the 16-under, 17-under and senior divisions. That got me fired up.”eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'bestofarkansassports_com-box-4','ezslot_4',126,'0','0'])); Basketball had inspired Crawford since his early days in Kennett, a southern Missouri Delta town also home to country star Sheryl Crow. Adams said while numerous kids earned college scholarships, others picked up valuable life lessons from Crawford and Wings. Cutts, who had starred at Conway, transferred to Bryant and helped lead the Hornets to a 33-2 record and a state title. Ron Crawford, who founded the Arkansas Wings AAU basketball program in 1980 and turned it into a national power, died Saturday. Coach invited me in and eventually gave me the reins, and I'll always be forever grateful for that.". Like Charles Ripley, also recently deceased, Crawford was a deep repository of Arkansas basketball knowledge, having playing a role in many of its most important moments. 1 ranking.

Crawford, a Little Rock businessman, founded the Arkansas Wings in 1980 and turned that AAU program into one of the nation’s most successful. He liked what he heard. Through that program, he and his coaches helped develop and promote countless future Division I and NBA players, including the likes of Derek Fisher, Corliss Williamson, Bobby Portis, Dusty Hannahs, Archie Goodwin and Malik Monk. He also began organizing his own basketball squad, but he dreamed of playing for the company’s prestigious “Wings” basketball team, named after the “Wings Assembly Section,” Crawford recalls. Ron Crawford, the longtime AAU basketball coach of the Arkansas Wings organization, died Saturday. “Now, I don’t like to get beat and I sure don’t like to get beat by 50.” So Crawford learned more about AAU. “I’ve sent players home not for doing drugs or beating up somebody, but for missing curfew or being selfish or not being good teammates,” Crawford says. (NWA Media). He adds when it comes to the Wings’ success, good behavior and good grades are more important than high talent.

He was 76. Please read our Terms of Use or contact us. A safer and more polite culture had originally compelled him and his wife Linda to move to Arkansas. COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. On Saturday, Ron Crawford passed away at the age of 76 after spending much of the summer in hospice, his family announced on Facebook.eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'bestofarkansassports_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_3',122,'0','0'])); Crawford, a Little Rock businessman, founded the Arkansas Wings in 1980 and turned that AAU program into one of the nation’s most successful. He remembers approaching Crawford before his junior year about achieving the No. That team included Fayetteville High senior Payton Willis, Van Buren High senior Mitchell Smith and Bentonville High senior Malik Monk. He was 76.

Conway businessman Bryan Adams was invited by Crawford to join the Arkansas Wings organization in 2012, and he took over the Wings in 2016 when Crawford focused on developing the basketball program at Southwest Christian Academy in Little Rock. "He didn't take it easy on me because Bobby Knight was there," Williamson said of Crawford. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. ", Copyright © 2020, Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. He was 76. (AP Photo/Mike Wintroath). Some of the ways in which he helped the local teens were never well publicized.

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