A product of Lincoln County is still producing fruit in basketball through his youngest daughter, Crystal S. Dangerfield, who just returned home to Middle Tennessee after helping Team USA to the gold in Cancun, Mexico.
Crystal is the daughter of Christopher (Chris) and Davonna Dangerfield of Murfreesboro and granddaughter of Shirley and Joe Dangerfield of Fayetteville. Chris played Falcon basketball and football at Lincoln County High School during the mid-80’s, during which time he was on the Falcons’ state championship football team.
This fall Crystal will be a sophomore at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, where she plays for the Lady Blaze, a District 7-AAA runner-up and Region 4-AA runner-up. Last season, Crystal averaged 14.5 points and 3.4 assists per game for the Lady Blaze.
“Though she played volleyball for a season, she decided that her true love is basketball,” said her grandmother, Shirley, noting that Crystal is much like her father, who even played in Germany while in the service. “Crystal has played basketball since she was 8 years old, and she’s already being watched by many coaches from various places and received much mail from various colleges.”
On May 23 Crystal was chosen out of 200 young athletes to participate in a four-day tryout for Team USA in Colorado. Eliminations were held, and at first the numbers were reduced to 135, with Crystal still in the running. After more eliminations, 43 young athletes remained, and from that number, 12 players were chosen — Crystal was one of those 12.
Shortly after joining the team, she trained for a week at a camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Then on June 16 she and Team USA left for Cancun where they competed for the USA in the Women’s U16 FIBA Championship.
On the road to the win, the team defeated challengers from Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Mexico. In the championship, Team USA overcame previously unbeaten Canada. Tied at 27 at the half, the team took control of the third quarter after a 31-7 run to hold on and win 82-48. It was their third-straight FIBA Americans U16 Championship.
“They put in a lot of hard work to win those five games,” said Shirley. “Along the way, they had their golden moments and then they brought home the gold!”
Over the course of the five games, Crystal averaged seven points and 1.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 58 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
Crystal is spending the rest of her summer playing with Tennessee Flight Silver, last year’s AAU national champions in the 18U division – “They’re travel schedule is off to a good start,” said Shirley, adding that the travel team has already won two tournaments, one in Kentucky and another here in Tennessee at Franklin County. The team will be flying out to Las Vegas this week to compete there.