Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 11 months ago

Crystal Dangerfield | Average To Savage EP112


This is the one hundred and twelfth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring 2020 WNBA Rookie of Year Crystal Dangerfield of the Minnesota Lynx. Paul Guarino talked with Crystal Dangerfield discussing her time at Uconn, her draft day experience, and winning the rookie of the year. 

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This podcast interview with Crystal Dangerfield was originally recorded on December 18, 2020 

This'll is the average to savagepodcast with Paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone athletes, celebs andmuch more. What's up, everybody? I'm back for another episode of the averagesavage podcast or special guest today is Crystal Dangerfield. Krystal, how'sit going? Pretty good. Appreciate you coming on. Thank you. Have to be here.Yeah, for sure. Let's just go back in time. Like, what was your first memoryof playing basketball? Um, first memory for me would be achurch league. It was upward. Basketball, um, running around jerseydown to the floor, literally at my ankles. Um, we would get stars on ourshirts for, like, achieving certain things. Nothing. Nothing too hectic.Yeah, for sure. Now, I've never been to Tennessee, and I know you grew up inTennessee, so you gotta tell me, like, what was it like down there? Um, where I was, it was pretty simple.Um, just like me. So that rubbed off on me for sure. Um, I went to a schoolwhere it was like connecting schools. The elementary was connected to themiddle school into the high school, so I grew up with the same people, um,left and got out of Tennessee as soon as possible. And then what about like,uh, like, during high school? Like, when did you know you were, like,really good at basketball? Um, when our team was selling out thegym, that was the first time I was in a sellout. Jim, people were, like comingto the gyms early. Um, it was buzz around the around the state for thewhole game set up and stuff like that. People thought I was transferringschools to go to a private school and a bunch of their stuff. Gotcha. And whatwhat about what was your recruiting process like? Um, looking back on it, I feel like it waskind of quick. And that's how I kind of wanted to be. I don't wanna be, youknow, bogged down with having a text coaches all the time or anything likethat. I took my unofficial visits on been made my decision at the end of it.

Well, what was like your final threeschools? South Carolina, Maryland in Yukon? No,Tennessee? No. Tennessee left my list, actually,kind of pretty pretty early. Eso Yeah. You didn't want to stay home. I mean, at first I did being a kid. Youknow why I stay close toe home, close to friends and family? Of course I did.That would have been a dream come true. But with everything that I had withthat summit, it was just like, Ah, it did. It wouldn't feel the same. Andthen, um, you can kinda came to the picture after that. Yeah, for sure. Sotell me. Tell me about your UConn visit. You're like your first one. So my first one almost didn't evenhappen, because I think a week or two before that I had gone to Maryland, andI was like, Okay, I'm sold like I wanna I wanna play here. Um, and my mom waslike, No, you need to take you. Already set scheduled to visit. You need to goahead and take your visit to UConn. And I was like, Okay. And I got out thereand completely fell in love. No offense, but, like, forgot what? Maryland wascompletely. And And before I left campus, I had given my verbalcommitment to go there. Uh oh. Right when you were visiting. Yeah, it'scrazy. Um, yeah, yeah. What was it? Just like meeting like Gino for thefirst time. Can you remember? It seems like such along time ago being a kid. I know. I was really excited. I don't evenremember if that visit was first of the home visit that I had with them. Um,but, um, you know, he's a He's a funny guy, andI wasn't expecting it s o. Um, He was cracking a lot of jokes, and it wasreally laid back. To be honest, it wasn't completely just about basketballwith him. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Um, And then, like at UConn like, what was youroverall experience like? Like on and off the court, Just growing, going onthe court, going off the court. Um, they kept us pretty busy. Aside fromlike what we had to with school, just off core activities. And then,obviously, on the court, your challenge.

Your push past what you think yourlimits are on. Ben, I got better. So yeah, sure. What about, like thetransition from, like, high school? The college? Was it like a crazy differenceor e. Don't remember what year was, but I was having a conversation with one ofmy teammates and we were looking at like high school games were like,There's no way we thought that that was intense or anything like that. We lookback and like, if we knew what basketball like playing basketball was,then we would have been killing in high school like it would be like, 30 pointgames for like, the entire time. But the transition was very different. Whatabout, like, the first? Like the first game that somebody like just gave youbuckets, like, was there like a Yukon where you're like, Oh, like, this isthis is legit here. Um, yeah. And I've said this about in theleague to it is going to be Kelsey Mitchell every time. She is hard toguard. Yeah, that's funny. Um, and then, yeah, just going. I mean, obviouslythis year has been crazy. You guys were gonna make you know, another run at thechampionship. Um, like, how How disappointed were you at the tournament?Got canceled. Very, um, because that was my lastchance. And I felt like we were playing good basketball at the time. Um, so Ithink things will Still they still happen for a reason. Obviously, theKobe situation really sucks, and it's continued to be say that way. But maybeit just wasn't meant to be, That's all. I've come to terms with it. Yeah, well,what was your guys final ranking at the end of their Who? That? I don't know. But I thinkour record was, like, 29 three. You guys, I think I'm appreciate you weretop your top five, right? Yeah. Yeah, sure. Yeah. Then So, obviouslyunprecedented year. Just going into the draft, obviously was Virtual. Probablydidn't expect that the year before. Just like, And then just what was whatwas your draft night like,...

Um, calm. I didn't like I wasn't It didn'teven really feel like draft night until I sat down and everything startedbecause it was, like, a whole bunch of setting up making sure things work,like with ESPN making sure the connection was there. Um, so it was Itdidn't really feel completely real until I sat down in front of TV. Yeah,for sure. And now I know you're supposed to be projected first round.You're a projected first round pick. You felt the second round. How did howdid that motivate you? Uh huh. I took it to disrespect because it'slike my height. I felt like it was mainly because of my height, because asfar as playing wise, I felt like I was one of the hot point guards in thecountry s. So there shouldn't have been a reason other than my height that Idrop that low. So I was like, I feel like my skill set should have overoverlooked all of that. But, um, I just didn't wanna go in there and proveanyone right about that. Like, I I am able to play in college. I wassuccessful, so I felt like the transition into the league. It wouldhave been that much of a difference, either. Yes. So during the your rookieyear, your your hot the whole season. Um, when the rookie of the year, uh,talk started happening. Was there any pressure on you? None at all. Really. Um, because forthe most part, it was just winning games. It was me getting better, um,for my team and then winning games. We were in a position where we were theunderdog. We weren't expected to do the thing, so That's what I wanted to carryon and have my teammates notice about me. That it was just about winninggames for me. What about? I'm gonna make you talk about yourself. But didyou like, when did you like, at the end of the year? Did you think you're gonnawin the rookie of the year? It was like a moment off. I think I'm going to. Andthen it was a moment of also, like, there's still a possibility that Iwon't because of how things had gone...

...prior to that dropping in the secondround, not being talked about like there's still there's still gonna finda way to for me not to get the award. Um, and if that happened, still wouldhave gone out that night. Played Phoenix. We won the game like it wasstill basketball that had to be played. But what? I've been disappointed. Verybecause to play so consistently, um, and not be expected to I think that alot. Yeah. And what does it? What does it mean to you? Just win, win the awardand be the first ever second round pick? Um, just hard work paid off and Iproved other people wrong Prove myself right. And that was the biggest thing.Um, I was happy with how I played. Obviously, Um, we lost way sooner onthen. I wanted Thio. I wanted to get to the championship Siri's and go for achampionship. But I was happy with how the first thing that could have gone,especially in those circumstances. Um, so yeah, okay, then going into nextseason, what your goals. Just to get better, I'll be going upThio Minnesota, and training with them. So hopefully they'll have some filmbroken down for me. So I could look at to see things that I could get betterat where I could be more effective on the defensive end. Um, where I can push,push the ball in transition and setting up my teammates and things like that. And and And what about what was it justlike just playing with, you know, players that you grew up watching? It was crazy. Um, hadn't even metstealing person other than when we played the USA team. Uh, and gamble ornot gamble, but in Hartford. And the second I saw her right up to her, gaveher a hug. She picked me up, spun me around. I was like, This is somebodythat I would be leaving middle school...

...to go watch playing her sec tournament.Um, she was in college, so I thought it was crazy playing on a team with herand then playing against other people. A swell. Yeah, definitely. It'sdefinitely surreal. What advice would you give? Just like, ah, young athlete.Trying to make either either trying to get a d one scholarship were liketrying to make a parolee. Um, just to continue to put the work in,um, confidence speaks speaks louder than anything you could ever say. Um,your place. You're gonna speaking the louder. So if you put the work in yourcompany, you out there, there's nobody that can deny what you're doing. Yeah, for sure. Now, going, going offthe court. I know you just signed with Jordan brand. So congrats again. Um,what did that mean to you? To, uh, to sign the It was a dream come true. Is a matchmade in heaven. Um, everything that I'll get to Dio working with the brand,um, was was perfect for me. Um, it combines my love for shoes. Love forthe game, Um, and let me have fun doing it. So I got I gotta ask you what'syour favorite Jordan? I have I have Maybe give me your topthree in your chapter. Top three is the top three ones. Thebread forests and Concorde's by far. Um, specific list off so many more. So isthere is there any of that? You're looking forward, toa actually playingthese because I know the newer ones are obviously more performance based.Another old ones. I don't think you really actually playing? Yeah. Theygave the the sisterhood the ones that they just came out with the sisterhoodcollection. The shoes look great. Um, they look great pictures, but they lookeven better in person. There's, like, a shine that they have to him. It's thewhole bunch of the deal with the 35. And then obviously, um, the 34 islooked great, too.

Now, I don't have you got to talk tothe Michael Jordan. Not since signing the contract. I methim way back when at the door. Bring classic, uh, my senior year. But yeah,that's cool. All right, you ready for some more fun questions? Yeah. All right. What's your What's yourfavorite song right now? That's hard. I don't I don't. It's hard for me to havefavorites like that. Um, can I look? Sure. Go board. Thank you.Um, it's staying with little baby. It's his new song is called Everybody. So Ithink it's gonna stay with little baby. A little baby. You like a little baby,huh? Love them. Who are your favorite players growing up like W N b a wise inthe n b A s or or athlete. Why you had an athlete? Um, overall athlete, it'snot staying in, um, not staying in basketball. It Serena Williams. Um w nb a college to w b was my more youngercrystal was like trying to model her game after everybody for a split second.I was, like, high on D Wade. Um, anybody. Really? What? All right. Andthen I'm a big jersey Jersey number. Guy s. Oh, I know you were five ofYukon. I'm not sure what you were at in high school, but why did you pick two?And I swear we're 32. That was from Magic Johnson five in college. Um, ifI've never really had, like, a the reason it was just kind of pickedto just gave it to you. No, no, I picked it. I just don't know why I likeit. The number never met anything for me. It was just a number that I picked,um, to...

I'm Betty. Second round? Yes. All right.I like that. Hey, that's what people do. That's what people dio. Well, what Whatwas your number in high school? It was 32. I picked it from Magic Johnson.Loved him. My dad would always have the n b A classic on TV, and I watch theShowtime Lakers. So I'm disappointed that five had no No. Meaning? Yeah, Ijust I didn't wanna because the reason I didn't Okay, so there's a back story,but it doesn't really have a story. So Mariah Jefferson was there. It was awhole bunch of comparisons. I didn't want to go and pick number four either.So I was like, Okay, just go five. So there was no reason for the numbereither. It was just I was not gonna happen. Number four. Alright. I'll takeit e mean if you want to go even crazier and death. Magic Johnson, 32 3plus two equals five e Don't know. Maybe that just happened.All right, so I know you told me before. Uh, you like Skittles, So I'm prettysure you know Marshawn Lynch was notorious for eating Skittles inbetween the game. Have you ever done that before? No. Um, I Well, as I've gotten older, I haven'tyounger. I can guarantee you. Yes, I actually have. But when I found outthat he would do that, I haven't done because I'm like, Yo, are you supposedto be doing that like, professional athlete on your serious athlete? Don'tbe out here. You can get on the sidelines during the game. But Iactually did do that a couple of times in high school, but have not done itsince. All right, So, yeah, that's funny about Marshawn Lynch. And youknow, you eating them when you're a kid. What about? Do you have any pre gamerituals? Um, I would have started calling a pre game ritual, but beforeevery game, this last season, I drink a red bull. I got a couple of stairs formy teammates. They thought it was like, I don't know, but I don't know. Thegames relate. I needed some energy. Keep me up. Give me going. Give me myenergy up. So yeah, it took real...

...question is how did you get the RedBull in the bubble? They had it. They had him at the hotel. So, like, OK, sothe bus. So it's funny. Well, the bus was out in front of the hotel and I'mcoming from the villa. So I walk over from the village, go inside the hotel,order a red bull like get Red Bull, put it on their pay for it and go out tothe bus and drink it. A red ball gave you links. Yes, it did. That is thesecret. Every every good game that I had rival as well. What about what?Something people don't know about you when people don't know about me? Um, probably my musical background. But Iwould also just say I love dogs if you if you know me like you're personallyclose to me. You know I love dogs, but other people would probably surprisedby how much I love dogs. Yeah, so All right. So I ask you a lot of questions.Do you have any questions to ask me? Hmm. What would be your backup plan? Mybackup plan. Um, well, I would say Well, in life. Yeah. Um Well, I'd say I already quit mybackup plan because I had a 9 to 5, and I quit. Okay. Okay. Okay. What is that? What's your tattoo onyour on your hand? It's a crown. Is that a real tattoo? Yes, it is. It hurts so bad. You just got that. No,I got it back in, like, the first week of October. Cash. So you just got it. I mean, notreally. I have a more recent one, like on my leg. That was, like, three weeksTuesday after...

...123456 seven, 88 Alright. What was your first one? Um, one that's on the outside of myright leg. Just walk by, Faith. All right. I don't even know you had anyanswers. Yeah, I'm getting I'm getting there. They're they're small, but like,they take out space, so yeah, for sure. Well, yeah. I appreciate you coming on,and could you let the listeners know where they could follow you At what they can follow me at? I don'teven know my Twitter handle was or nothing. Um, I think Twitter is crystalde to underscore. Um, Instagram is Crystal Dangerfield five. If anyone knows how to change yourinstagram name after you've been verified, please let me know because Idon't know how to do that. I'm telling you to honor back instead of a five.

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