Markus Crider’s winning era

Markus Crider drives to the basket against UL Monroe. Photo By Dayne Francis | The Signal
Markus Crider drives to the basket against UL Monroe. Photo By Dayne Francis | The Signal
Markus Crider drives to the basket against UL Monroe.
Photo By Dayne Francis | The Signal

Markus Crider, senior forward, is in the midst of his fourth and final season with Georgia State.

Knowing that he would one day live in Atlanta, Crider made this dream a reality.

“The crazy thing is, eighth grade I came down here with my dad and one of my closest friends and I told my dad some way or somehow I’m living in Atlanta,” Crider said.

Prior to Georgia State

Originally from Dayton, Ohio, shared hometown of head coach Ron Hunter, Crider played basketball at Wayne High School where he averaged 14 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Crider has known Coach Hunter since his sophomore year in high school. Crider was ranked the sixth-best player in the state of Ohio by ESPN and also led his high school team to league championships in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Crider was signed to attend Providence after graduating, but decided to go to Bridgton Academy, an all-male prep school located in Maine. Crider averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. Totaling three triple-doubles and earning National Prep School Invitational All-Tournament Honors, Crider performed well in prep school, but he was looking to transfer to a larger school in a thriving city.

The road to Georgia State

Receiving scholarship offers from Georgia State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan, and several other Big 10 schools around the Ohio-Michigan area, Crider was presented with various options. However, knowing Coach Hunter and witnessing the booming city of Atlanta sold Crider on Georgia State.

“It doesn’t get better than Atlanta, Georgia after being in Maine,” Crider said. “No snow, Atlanta is the perfect place and I don’t think I’ll ever leave to tell you the truth. I ended up at Georgia State and I’m blessed to even be here because it’s a perfect fit for me.”

Crider’s impact on the court

Considering himself, along with teammate T.J. Shipes, to be one of the old heads on the team, Crider has made a huge impact on the court within his time at Georgia State. Crider recorded his first career double-double against division rival UL Monroe during his junior season, 2014-15. During this game, Crider scored 13 points and totaled 10 rebounds. Crider also finished with a double-double against Appalachian State and Arkansas State. Proving himself to be a threat defensively and offensively has made Crider a key player for the Panther since his arrival in 2012.

Crider finished his junior season averaging 9.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and shot 59.5 percent from the field, thus ranking second in the Sun Belt. Whereas Crider’s senior season is still being written, one of his most memorable games remains in the 2014-15 season. Several individuals would expect this game to be Georgia State’s victory against Baylor in the NCAA Tournament, however to Crider, it’s the Sun Belt championship game versus Georgia Southern.

“I know people expect me to say Baylor because of the shot, but no it was before that,” Crider said. “I didn’t know the magnitude of it then because I really didn’t focus on it, but I got a rebound and passed it out to R.J. and he hit the two free throws to win the game. I never really looked at the rebound until after the season was over. Now I understand the importance of that rebound, because if I didn’t get that rebound we probably wouldn’t have gotten those free throws. You never know what could have happened.”

Georgia State defeated Georgia Southern 38-36 and were named 2015 men’s basketball tournament champions of the Sun Belt Conference. Crider averaged 11.5 points and 8 rebounds in the championship, earning Sun Belt All-Tournament honors.

“Markus is what I call a true student-athlete,” Coach Hunter said. “If you look in Webster and there’s a picture of what a student-athlete looked like, it would look like Markus Crider.”

Crider and Shipes are now on a race to become the most winningest players in Georgia State history.

“That means since you came in until the time you leave all you know is winning,” Crider said. “That’s something I’ve always done. Even in high school, we’ve always won, so I’m happy about that.”

Pushing towards success

Markus Crider shoots a free throw in the GSU Sports Arena. Photo by Dayne Francis | The Signal
Markus Crider shoots a free throw in the GSU Sports Arena.
Photo by Dayne Francis | The Signal

Along with Crider’s accomplishments, comes difficult training and self-motivation. With the love of the game and his family pushing him towards a successful finish, Crider conditions his body to withstand the duration of the game.

“Definitely the steam room, sauna and doing yoga with my trainer back home,” Crider said. “Those three things, many people don’t do them, but they’re vital. I sit in the sauna for six sessions, when the sauna comes on until it goes off is one. That will have you physically exhausted, but you still figure out ways to work your lungs and find ways to breathe. Sometimes I do pushups and situps while inside.”

Crider considers this to be one key to his success. Along with physically challenging the body, Crider challenges himself mentally. While attempting to become a better player Crider knows there is only one challenge standing in the way between him and his goals, which is himself.

“My biggest challenge sometimes is my own self,” Crider said. “You have to get back into the flow of the game knowing that you do these things every day. This is what you do, so you have to have confidence in yourself.”

Coach Hunter recognizes Crider’s unwavering dedication to the team as well as his ability to win.

“He’s a guy that does everything to the best of his ability,” Coach Hunter said. “He’s been a great student, a great basketball player. He’s just a winner. I think whatever he does in life, he’s going to be successful because he’s a winner. Every year I coach I have to make sure I have a Markus Crider.”
Crider is currently majoring in communications and will pursue his master’s degree and a doctorate in the future.