Women’s basketball managers compete in intramurals


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It’s not surprising to find the managers of the Hawkeye basketball team lighting up the hardwood in their free time.

For three guys, they appreciate the recognition.

Sophomore Chris Crawford, brother Eric Crawford, and senior Travis Dyer serve as managers for the Iowa women’s basketball team. As Team T-Gene, the three compete in the Men’s Open League and showcase their talents on Tuesday nights in the Field House.

This season, Team T-Gene is 1-1 after winning its first game easily and losing the second in overtime.

After T-Gene led almost the whole contest, the game went into OT. And the outcome didn’t go the way Team T-Gene players would have liked. Chris Crawford, in his first season as manager, said mistakes were costly for his squad.

“We had a lot of unnecessary turnovers,” he said. “We need to keep up the intensity on defense. The last two games, we have gotten to huge leads and then got a little bit lazy.”

Looking to rebound from the defeat, Team T-Gene will play CR Ballz on Feb. 23.

As far as the rest of team goes, they are not all managers.

“We probably wouldn’t win too many games if the only way you could play on the team was if you were a women’s basketball manager,” Eric Crawford said jokingly. “Three-on-five would be hard to overcome.”

The brothers take a lot from being managers, spending time and watching Division-I athletes perform on the court. Eric Crawford isn’t shy about giving kudos to the Hawkeye women, who, he said, handle themselves well in the public eye.

“The women hold themselves to a higher standard. Their work ethic is really good,” Eric Crawford said. “They are very un-egotistical.”

He also relishes the opportunity to work under Iowa women’s head coach Lisa Bluder.

“She’s been coaching for 18 very successful seasons, so learning from her has been great,” he said. “She’s intense, but she definitely knows what she’s talking about.”

The three hope they can take what they learn from the Hawkeye coaches and players and apply it to playing in intramurals.

Dyer, who said he became a manager when he heard about an opening from Eric Crawford, said he enjoys the experience. Being around basketball almost all of the time, the three make sure they give their team the best chance to win each time out on the court.

“We have our own little roles, and everyone knows his role,” said Dyer. “As a team, we have scorers, defensive-only guys, things like that. Everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, so it works out well.”

While not on the schedule for the regular season, a possible showdown with MGR Express — a Men’s Open League team composed of all men’s basketball managers — could be a possibility.

“That would be cool,” Eric Crawford said. “We play with those guys a lot in our free time, and it’s really good competition. That would be really fun to play them.”

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