Courtney Crawford’s athletic career has seen more than a few changes in address, but it has all led the 2012 Nature Coast grad to her ultimate destination.
Recently Crawford signed to play volleyball at Nova Southeastern University, a Division II school with a main campus located in Fort Lauderdale.
“Honestly it’s a great feeling,” Crawford said. “Ever since I decided to make volleyball my main sport over basketball, my goal was to play in a competitive conference.
“I really liked the new coaches, Dan and Jenn King. The campus is gorgeous. They have probably the nicest arena in that conference.”
Heading into her junior year, Crawford has decided to major in secondary math education, seeking to become a middle or high school teacher.
She also wouldn’t mind dabbling in coaching, something she’s already done for her former club team, No Name Volleyball, guiding a group of 14 year olds.
Additionally, her father Trey Crawford was a basketball coach at Hernando High and Hernando Christian Academy.
However, she realizes her days of actual on-court action are dwindling.
“This will definitely be a little more sentimental because these are my last two years playing,” Crawford said. “I’m definitely going to be enjoying these last few years playing.”
Crawford noted that she’s glad to be a Shark once again, referencing the mascot of both NSU and Nature Coast.
Certainly she has traversed a winding path to get to this point. This will be her fifth straight year at a new school.
In high school, she spent her freshman and sophomore campaigns at HCA before shifting to Hernando as a junior. She transferred to Nature Coast for her senior year.
She was a three-time All-County selection in basketball, and the Hernando Today Player of the Year in 2011-12.
However, she opted to pursue volleyball in college following an All-County senior season with the Lady Sharks where she had 851 kills, 252 digs, 315 serves received and 69 aces.
The 5-foot-11 outside hitter signed with State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, but opted to leave after her a year for Pasco-Hernando State College.
“I’m known to transfer I guess,” Crawford said. “Me and the coach didn’t agree on certain things. It just wasn’t a good fit down there.
“I really liked it (at PHSC). It gave my family more of a chance to see me play. I really like Coach (Kim) Whitney. She’s a great coach. I like what she’s doing with the program.”
Crawford made a point to thank Whitney, as well as No Name Volleyball coaches Doug and Sarah Chinchar for their tutelage.
At PHSC, Crawford was second on the team with 334 kills and 417.5 points, third with 254 digs and fourth with 58 blocks.
“I think I did well overall,” Crawford said. “After every game I like to focus on what I can do to get better. I’m pretty hard on myself, but I thought I did well.
“It’s nothing new for me to jump in with a new team, new coaches and get to work.”
NSU, part of the Sunshine State Conference, hired Jennifer King as its head coach at the end of December, and her husband Dan is her assistant.
The Sharks went 6-21 this past year, their fourth straight losing season. Crawford will continue to play on the outside for them.
“I know last year they struggled a little bit, so it’s a rebuilding year. But with these new coaches, I think they’ll be pretty solid,” Crawford said. “I want to be able to go in and compete and see how far we can get.”