(Photo courtesy of David Miller/247Sports).

Austin Crowley: Putting up numbers and putting on pounds

Putting on over 20 pounds in the course of a few months might seem outrageous, even for college freshmen. But for Austin Crowley, it’s all part of the plan.

At the beginning of Crowley’s junior year and first season at Sunrise Christian Academy, near Wichita, Kansas, skinny was an understatement. The talented shooting guard stood at 6-foot-6, but only weighed 162 pounds.

Originally from West Point, Mississippi, where he started his high school career, Crowley’s slender build was part of the reason he is now attending Sunrise Christian Academy, a basketball powerhouse. Sunrise, with alumni including former Oklahoma star Buddy Hield and Michigan State guard Lourawls ‘Tum-Tum’ Nairn Jr., is known for developing basketball talent at a high level.

“I wanted to come into college and play right away,” said Crowley, “It was a no-brainer coming here.”

Now at 187 pounds, the star shooting guard has the ability to drive the ball inside, while still being a spot-up shooter from beyond the arc.

“I used to get knocked down when I was fouled inside,” said Crowley, “Now I’m the one knocking 7-footers down.”

Along with having an increased scoring role as a shooting guard, the four-star recruit also got the opportunity to play at point guard in his junior season. In the Buffaloes up-tempo offense, Crowley showcased his excellent ball handling and ability to push the ball down the court.

While Crowley has developed both in size and skill since he has arrived at Sunrise Christian Academy, assistant head coach Roderick Clark still thinks he still has room to improve mentally.

“His maturity has gotten a lot better, like forgetting mistakes moving onto the next play,” said Clark, “But sometimes he’s too nice when he plays inside.”

While Clark does think Crowley still has to develop his game, by no means does he doubt his potential.

“He’s probably one of the best kids I’ve ever gotten to coach,” said Clark, “I see a little bit of a young Zach LaVine at times.”

Crowley’s coach is not the only one who has also taken note of the 17-year-old’s unbelievable upside, as he has received offers from several Division I programs, such as Memphis, Ole Miss, and an increasingly impressive basketball program at Alabama.

Crowley still looks to improve his skill on the court and his body in the dining hall going into his senior season.

“Before I leave I want to be around 195 pounds,” said Crowley. “I think that would be a good weight for me going into college.”

When asked what the secret to putting that much weight on Crowley simply replied, “Pizza is good, and so is pasta.”