Few players in the history of the NBL have made as immediate or lasting an impact as James Crawford. The man known as “The Alabama Slammer” forged an outstanding career in the NBL over 18 years, with his aerial prowess, shot-blocking ability and patented baseline jump shot leading many to regard him as one of the greatest big men to play in this country.
After stints with the Geelong Supercats and the Canberra Cannons, it was in Perth where the legend of Crawford took hold. He won three NBL Championships with the Wildcats, earned All-NBL First Team honours four times, and was recognised in the NBL’s 20th and 25th Anniversary Teams, and the Perth Wildcats 30th Anniversary Team. Crawford retired in 1999 as one of the most accomplished players in NBL history, sitting in the top five all-time for points, rebounds and blocks from a 504-game career.
As head of the Wildcats junior development program, Crawford will also be remembered for promoting and developing the game at the grass-roots level in Western Australia, but there is no doubt the memory of Crawford’s gifted athleticism and stunning entertainment factor continue to live on.