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After a pro basketball career, this postal employee became a youth coach

April 11, 2024
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My name is Dallas Crawley and I’m an acting engineering systems maintenance supervisor in Merrifield, VA.

I played basketball in college and was pretty good. I even played professionally. People often interrupt me at this point in the story, but I didn’t play in the NBA and I don’t know LeBron James. I played two seasons professionally in Europe and loved it.

I attended high school in Richmond, VA, in the late 1990s, earning all-state basketball honors as a senior. I looked at playing college basketball in the NCAA’s Division I, but decided to go to Marymount University in Arlington, VA, a Division III school, on an academic scholarship.

I played basketball at Marymount, earning Capital Athletic Conference honors for three years. I was inducted into the university’s athletic hall of fame in 2010.

Most of my shooting and dribbling now, though, is at rec centers.

I’ve been coaching kids for 20 years, from ages 4 to 18, in local basketball clinics. I still play a little, and I especially enjoy coaching high school kids.

While sports dominated my activities when I was young, I had other interests. I played the cello for eight years and the drums, too. I even had a little percussion group at Marymount.

The drums have been a hobby for 30 years, but I love to paint and work with art. I use acrylics on canvas, painting abstracts of shapes. When I start, I don’t think about anything, I just let my mind go blank and paint whatever comes up.

There’s also an 8-year-old I love to coach — my daughter, Aniyah. She also has a love for art. She just had a drip art piece selected for an elementary fine arts festival.

As for basketball, I don’t push her in sports, but I don’t have to. She plays sometimes with older kids and already takes the ball and directs them on the court. She’s turning into a natural point guard.

It is great for a coach to see kids develop, but it is even better to see it as a dad.

“Off the Clock,” a column on Postal Service employees and their after-hours pursuits, appears regularly in Link.

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