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A few weeks ago, I attended a basketball game at the new Indian Land High School gym. I try to attend as often as possible to show support for relatives and friends, as well as the school and community.
Upon entering the high school gym foyer and seeing memoribilia displayed of other former students athletes, I was completely stunned and in shock that nothing was displayed representing our own hometown hero, 2004 Olympic gold and silver medalist Shawn Crawford, who graduated from Indian Land High in 1996.
There were pictures of state championship teams in volleyball and softball along the walls in the gym, which was very good recognition. There was some recognition displayed under the scoreboard about Crawford’s accomplishments in 2004, but I was surprised that there weren’t any pictures or memorabilia of our Olympic champion.
It’s not every day that you have an individual from such a small community and school to go the Olympics and win gold and silver medals.
Besides winning a silver medal in 2008 due to a disqualification, being the kind-hearted and humble person that he is, Crawford chose to return it to the person who was disqualified. This type of character is not displayed often and that says a lot about an individual.
I spoke with Indian Land High School athletic director Michael Mayer about my observations.
I asked if there was a picture of Crawford anywhere in the building. Mayer responded by pointing and saying “Yes, behind those doors on the wall.” Note that these doors, which lead to the dressing room for the athletes, are always closed, so these pictures are not visible to the public.
Is this how we show our honor, gratitude and respect for one of our students who was determined to take the skills and knowledge instilled in him by his family, friends, teachers and coaching staff at Indian Land High School to graduate and strive to become our hometown hero?
Besides his Olympic accomplishments, Crawford has appeared in magazines such as Vanity, Jet, Ebony, People, Sports Illustrated and others. He has appeared on TV shows such as “Half and Half,” “Man vs. Beast,” “106 & Park,” “BET Awards,” “Tonight Show” and others. I feel that if the media and the world can recognize him for the achievements he has made over the years, then certainly we can at least display a picture and some of his memorabilia for the public to be informed of their hometown hero.
I also feel this will be some encouragement for the students to always believe that they can too accomplish any goals set before them, which has been proven by our very own.
Mayer said he would gladly display a picture of Crawford in the gym if I were to get him one.
This is a matter that is quite overdue.
Marilyn Adams Tims
1974 graduate of Indian Land High School