Corey Jae Crowder (born July 6, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is the son of former NBA player Corey Crowder.
Not being heavily recruited out of high school, Crowder committed to South Georgia Tech and later Howard College, where he led the team to an NJCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in his sophomore season, in which he was also named State Farm Junior College Player of the Year. After his career at Howard College ended, he transferred to Marquette, where he was named Big East Player of the Year in his senior season. After his senior year ended, he became eligible for the 2012 NBA draft, where he was drafted 34th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and traded to the Mavericks on draft night.
Early life and high school career
Jae Crowder was born on July 6, 1990, in Villa Rica, Georgia, to Helen Thompson and basketball player Corey Crowder. Crowder attended Villa Rica High School, where he played as starting quarterback for the football team and as starting point guard for the basketball team. Crowder spent the summer holidays in Florida, working out and training with his father, then a professional basketball player, with 2 years experience in the NBA playing in Europe. Growing up, he was undersized and overweight, weighing nearly 200 pounds in his junior year. Eventually, he called his father, to help him lose weight. By the end of his junior year, he had grown to 6–4 feet and had significantly improved his physical conditioning.
Due to his late blossoming, Crowder was not heavily recruited out of high school, although he had some offers in football. He committed to South Georgia Technical College, a college in the little town of Americus, Georgia. He later transferred to Howard College for his sophomore season. After his junior college eligibility ended, he transferred to Marquette.
South Georgia Tech
In his only season with South Georgia Tech, he led the Jets to their first-ever NJCAA national tournament appearance in his freshmen season, under head coach Steven Wright, with the team finishing on a 21–7 record. He was named Georgia Junior College Athletic Association Player of the Year that season.
In his sophomore season with the Howard Hawks in 2010, Crowder was not only named Junior College Player of the Year but also helped the team win its first-ever NJCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. In the final game he registered 27 points and 12 rebounds in an 85–80 overtime victory against Three Rivers Community College. He averaged 18.9 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game as a sophomore while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 76.0 percent from the free throw line.
After his strong season with the Howard Hawks, Crowder transferred to Marquette University, selecting the Golden Eagles over UNLV, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech and Illinois State, among others. He averaged 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in his first season with Marquette. Some basketball statisticians believe Crowder was statistically the best all-around player during the 2010–11 season. On January 1, 2011, Crowder recorded a career-high 29 points and 8 rebounds in a game against the West Virginia Mountaineers. On March 30, 2012, Crowder was named East Perfect Player of the Game in the Reese's College All-Star Game.
For the 2011–2012 season, Crowder averaged 17.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Crowder led Marquette to a second-place finish in the Big East, as well as their second consecutive Sweet 16. Jae was named Big East Player of the Year, as well as an AP Second-Team All American.
College Awards & Honors
- Second-team All-American – AP, TSN (2012)
- Third-team All-American – NABC (2012)
- Big East Player of the Year (2012)
- All-Big East First Team (2012)
- NABC Junior College Player of the Year (2010)
- NJCAA Men's Division I champion (2010)
After finishing his college career, Jae Crowder decided to enter the 2012 NBA draft, where he was projected to be a second round draft pick. Crowder was taken 34th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers; however, a draft night-trade with the Mavericks sent him to Dallas, along with 24th overall pick Jared Cunningham and 33rd overall pick Bernard James, in exchange for 17th overall pick Tyler Zeller and Kelenna Azubuike. He was officially signed on July 20, 2012 on a non-guaranteed two-year contract, like all second round draft picks. His Marquette teammate Darius Johnson-Odom was also drafted with the 55th overall pick.
Dallas Mavericks (2012–2014)
Due to his strong showing in NBA Summer League and preseason games, he was described as "the steal of the NBA draft", averaging 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 1.6 assists and 0.8 blocks in 22 minutes per game in the preseason and 16.6 points, 1.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, 2.0 steals and 41.7 percent shooting in Summer League, where he was also voted into the All-Summer League team. This strong showing raised expectations in the young player, as he was viewed as possibly the Mavericks' new franchise player and possibly a future All-Star.
His stellar play earned him a spot in coach Rick Carlisle's rotation. He debuted in the season-opening win against the Los Angeles Lakers. After Dirk Nowitzki missed most of the early season with an arthroscopic knee surgery and starting small forward Shawn Marion was also injured, Crowder became the team's starting small forward. With Marion and Nowitzki's returns, Crowder's minutes decreased. His contribution started to dwindle a bit starting around the all-star break, when he admitted that he hit the "rookie wall". The Mavericks were never able to recover from Nowitzki's injury and missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years, with Crowder averaging 5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in 17.3 minutes.
On November 5, 2013, Crowder scored a then career-high 18 points in a 123–104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. On February 27, 2014, Crowder was assigned to the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League. He was recalled by the Mavericks on February 28, reassigned on March 1, and recalled again on March 2.
On June 10, 2014, the Mavericks exercised their team option on Crowder's contract. With the offseason additions of forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and Richard Jefferson, Crowder's minutes subsequently dropped to start the 2014–15 season, falling out of coach Rick Carlisle's frontcourt rotation. On November 9, 2014, he scored a season-high 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting in a 105–96 loss to the Miami Heat.
Boston Celtics (2014–present)
On December 18, 2014, Crowder was traded, along with Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, a 2015 first-round pick, a 2016 second-round pick and a $12.9 million trade exception, to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell. On January 12, 2015, he scored a then career-high 22 points in a 108–100 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. On April 14, 2015, he hit an off-balance fall-away two-point shot from deep on the right wing with 0.8 seconds left, lifting Boston to a 95–93 win over the Toronto Raptors. After averaging just 3.6 points in 10.6 minutes per game with Dallas to start the 2014–15 season, Crowder became an important role player for the Celtics in Brad Stevens' rotation, and subsequently lifted his averages to 9.5 points in 24.2 minutes per game.
On July 27, 2015, Crowder re-signed with the Celtics to a reported five-year, $35 million contract. On December 18, 2015, he scored a career-high 24 points in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. He topped that mark on January 4, 2016, scoring 25 points in a 103–94 win over the Brooklyn Nets. On January 13, he tied his career high of 25 points in a 103–94 win over the Indiana Pacers. On March 14, he was ruled out for two weeks with a right ankle sprain. He returned to action on March 31 against the Portland Trail Blazers after missing eight games.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Crowder is known for his good all around-play and his positional flexibility. He is a rugged defender with a strong, muscular stature and a good rebounder. He has a good three point shot and postplay, as well as being solid from long range, averaging .498 from the field and .345 from the three-point line in his senior season at Marquette. Crowder has a tremendous work ethic, growing from a chubby kid into a muscular player, training with intense will and commitment to improve his skills. Rick Carlisle compared him to Tayshaun Prince, whom he coached while with the Detroit Pistons, stating: "Jae just has a maturity beyond his years. He’s got a natural motor and a natural, real, pure basketball energy. He’s the kind of guy who would fit in on any team."
Crowder's father, Corey, played in the NBA for the Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs and had a 14 year-spanning career as a professional, mostly playing in Europe. He majored in communication studies at Marquette's Diederich College of Communication and has seven siblings.