Corey Crowder, father of Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder, played for the Utah Jazz in the early 1990s.
Before Friday’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Utah Jazz, C’s forward Jae Crowder received a surprise gift from Jazz PR — a pair of his father’s game-worn L.A. Gear shoes from the early 1990s. Amazingly, the team had maintained possession of the shoes for over 20 years.
Crowder posted a picture of the kicks on his Instagram with the following caption–
BIG S/O TO THE UTAH JAZZ PR TEAM FOR GIVING ME A PAIR OF MY POPS @corey_23kwc GAME WORN SHOES WHEN HE PLAYED FOR THEM.. #CLASSIC #20YRSLATER #MEMORIESOFALIFETIME
It was a gift that both Jae and his father, former Jazzman Corey Crowder, were ecstatic to receive. “He said he was tearing up over the phone,” the Celtics swingman said, “It’s just something that came out of nowhere for us. For them to still have his shoes 20 years later, it’s unbelievable.”
The elder Crowder played 51 games for the Jazz during the 1991-92 season under coach Jerry Sloan. In limited action, he averaged just over two points per game, but made over 43 percent of his three-point attempts during his tenure with the team. He went on to play in the CBA and in a short stint with the San Antonio Spurs. He also played in Europe and Israel.
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Crowder was a NCAA Division II champion in 1990 with Kentucky Wesleyan and helped FC Barcelona win the Spanish ACB League title in 1995. He last played professionally in 2006.
My best memory of Crowder came as a young Jazz fan attending his first NBA Playoff game. It was Game 1 of the 1992 first round series against Danny Manning and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Jazz won big in the game, allowing Crowder to play two garbage-time minutes, during which he scored twice.
A memento from the game still hangs in my workspace–
The younger Crowder is enjoying a breakout season for the Celtics, averaging better than 14 points and five rebounds per game. He scored 17 points in Boston’s 111-93 loss to the Jazz on Friday.