Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 2 years 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 savage podcast with Paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone athletes, celebs and much more. What's up, everybody? I'm back for another episode of the average savage podcast or special guest today is Crystal Dangerfield. Krystal, how's it 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 memory of playing basketball? Um, first memory for me would be a church league. It was upward. Basketball, um, running around jersey down to the floor, literally at my ankles. Um, we would get stars on our shirts 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 in Tennessee, 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 school where it was like connecting schools. The elementary was connected to the middle 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 the gym, that was the first time I was in a sellout. Jim, people were, like coming to the gyms early. Um, it was buzz around the around the state for the whole game set up and stuff like that. People thought I was transferring schools to go to a private school and a bunch of their stuff. Gotcha. And what what about what was your recruiting process like? Um, looking back on it, I feel like it was kind of quick. And that's how I kind of wanted to be. I don't wanna be, you know, bogged down with having a text coaches all the time or anything like that. I took my unofficial visits on been made my decision at the end of it.

Well, what was like your final three schools? 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. You know 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 with that summit, it was just like, Ah, it did. It wouldn't feel the same. And then, um, you can kinda came to the picture after that. Yeah, for sure. So tell me. Tell me about your UConn visit. You're like your first one. So my first one almost didn't even happen, because I think a week or two before that I had gone to Maryland, and I was like, Okay, I'm sold like I wanna I wanna play here. Um, and my mom was like, No, you need to take you. Already set scheduled to visit. You need to go ahead and take your visit to UConn. And I was like, Okay. And I got out there and completely fell in love. No offense, but, like, forgot what? Maryland was completely. And And before I left campus, I had given my verbal commitment to go there. Uh oh. Right when you were visiting. Yeah, it's crazy. Um, yeah, yeah. What was it? Just like meeting like Gino for the first time. Can you remember? It seems like such a long time ago being a kid. I know. I was really excited. I don't even remember 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, and I wasn't expecting it s o. Um, He was cracking a lot of jokes, and it was really laid back. To be honest, it wasn't completely just about basketball with him. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Um, And then, like at UConn like, what was your overall experience like? Like on and off the court, Just growing, going on the court, going off the court. Um, they kept us pretty busy. Aside from like what we had to with school, just off core activities. And then, obviously, on the court, your challenge.

Your push past what you think your limits are on. Ben, I got better. So yeah, sure. What about, like the transition from, like, high school? The college? Was it like a crazy difference or e. Don't remember what year was, but I was having a conversation with one of my 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 look back 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 point games for like, the entire time. But the transition was very different. What about, like, the first? Like the first game that somebody like just gave you buckets, like, was there like a Yukon where you're like, Oh, like, this is this is legit here. Um, yeah. And I've said this about in the league to it is going to be Kelsey Mitchell every time. She is hard to guard. Yeah, that's funny. Um, and then, yeah, just going. I mean, obviously this year has been crazy. You guys were gonna make you know, another run at the championship. Um, like, how How disappointed were you at the tournament? Got canceled. Very, um, because that was my last chance. And I felt like we were playing good basketball at the time. Um, so I think things will Still they still happen for a reason. Obviously, the Kobe situation really sucks, and it's continued to be say that way. But maybe it 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 think our record was, like, 29 three. You guys, I think I'm appreciate you were top your top five, right? Yeah. Yeah, sure. Yeah. Then So, obviously unprecedented year. Just going into the draft, obviously was Virtual. Probably didn't expect that the year before. Just like, And then just what was what was your draft night like,...

Um, calm. I didn't like I wasn't It didn't even really feel like draft night until I sat down and everything started because 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 It didn'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 how did that motivate you? Uh huh. I took it to disrespect because it's like my height. I felt like it was mainly because of my height, because as far as playing wise, I felt like I was one of the hot point guards in the country s. So there shouldn't have been a reason other than my height that I drop that low. So I was like, I feel like my skill set should have over overlooked all of that. But, um, I just didn't wanna go in there and prove anyone right about that. Like, I I am able to play in college. I was successful, so I felt like the transition into the league. It would have been that much of a difference, either. Yes. So during the your rookie year, 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 for the 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 the underdog. We weren't expected to do the thing, so That's what I wanted to carry on and have my teammates notice about me. That it was just about winning games for me. What about? I'm gonna make you talk about yourself. But did you like, when did you like, at the end of the year? Did you think you're gonna win the rookie of the year? It was like a moment off. I think I'm going to. And then it was a moment of also, like, there's still a possibility that I won't because of how things had gone...

...prior to that dropping in the second round, not being talked about like there's still there's still gonna find a way to for me not to get the award. Um, and if that happened, still would have gone out that night. Played Phoenix. We won the game like it was still basketball that had to be played. But what? I've been disappointed. Very because to play so consistently, um, and not be expected to I think that a lot. Yeah. And what does it? What does it mean to you? Just win, win the award and be the first ever second round pick? Um, just hard work paid off and I proved 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 on then. I wanted Thio. I wanted to get to the championship Siri's and go for a championship. But I was happy with how the first thing that could have gone, especially in those circumstances. Um, so yeah, okay, then going into next season, what your goals. Just to get better, I'll be going up Thio Minnesota, and training with them. So hopefully they'll have some film broken down for me. So I could look at to see things that I could get better at 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 just like just playing with, you know, players that you grew up watching? It was crazy. Um, hadn't even met stealing person other than when we played the USA team. Uh, and gamble or not gamble, but in Hartford. And the second I saw her right up to her, gave her a hug. She picked me up, spun me around. I was like, This is somebody that 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 her and then playing against other people. A swell. Yeah, definitely. It's definitely surreal. What advice would you give? Just like, ah, young athlete. Trying to make either either trying to get a d one scholarship were like trying 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 your company, you out there, there's nobody that can deny what you're doing. Yeah, for sure. Now, going, going off the 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 match made 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 for the game, Um, and let me have fun doing it. So I got I gotta ask you what's your favorite Jordan? I have I have Maybe give me your top three in your chapter. Top three is the top three ones. The bread forests and Concorde's by far. Um, specific list off so many more. So is there is there any of that? You're looking forward, toa actually playing these because I know the newer ones are obviously more performance based. Another old ones. I don't think you really actually playing? Yeah. They gave the the sisterhood the ones that they just came out with the sisterhood collection. The shoes look great. Um, they look great pictures, but they look even better in person. There's, like, a shine that they have to him. It's the whole bunch of the deal with the 35. And then obviously, um, the 34 is looked great, too.

Now, I don't have you got to talk to the Michael Jordan. Not since signing the contract. I met him 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 your favorite song right now? That's hard. I don't I don't. It's hard for me to have favorites 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 I think 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 in the n b A s or or athlete. Why you had an athlete? Um, overall athlete, it's not staying in, um, not staying in basketball. It Serena Williams. Um w n b a college to w b was my more younger crystal 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. And then I'm a big jersey Jersey number. Guy s. Oh, I know you were five of Yukon. 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, if I've never really had, like, a the reason it was just kind of picked to just gave it to you. No, no, I picked it. I just don't know why I like it. 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 What was 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 the Showtime Lakers. So I'm disappointed that five had no No. Meaning? Yeah, I just 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 a whole 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 number either. It was just I was not gonna happen. Number four. Alright. I'll take it e mean if you want to go even crazier and death. Magic Johnson, 32 3 plus 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 pretty sure you know Marshawn Lynch was notorious for eating Skittles in between the game. Have you ever done that before? No. Um, I Well, as I've gotten older, I haven't younger. I can guarantee you. Yes, I actually have. But when I found out that he would do that, I haven't done because I'm like, Yo, are you supposed to be doing that like, professional athlete on your serious athlete? Don't be out here. You can get on the sidelines during the game. But I actually did do that a couple of times in high school, but have not done it since. All right, So, yeah, that's funny about Marshawn Lynch. And you know, you eating them when you're a kid. What about? Do you have any pre game rituals? Um, I would have started calling a pre game ritual, but before every game, this last season, I drink a red bull. I got a couple of stairs for my teammates. They thought it was like, I don't know, but I don't know. The games relate. I needed some energy. Keep me up. Give me going. Give me my energy up. So yeah, it took real...

...question is how did you get the Red Bull in the bubble? They had it. They had him at the hotel. So, like, OK, so the bus. So it's funny. Well, the bus was out in front of the hotel and I'm coming 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 to the bus and drink it. A red ball gave you links. Yes, it did. That is the secret. 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 I would also just say I love dogs if you if you know me like you're personally close to me. You know I love dogs, but other people would probably surprised by 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? My backup plan. Um, well, I would say Well, in life. Yeah. Um Well, I'd say I already quit my backup plan because I had a 9 to 5, and I quit. Okay. Okay. Okay. What is that? What's your tattoo on your 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, not really. I have a more recent one, like on my leg. That was, like, three weeks Tuesday after...

...123456 seven, 88 Alright. What was your first one? Um, one that's on the outside of my right leg. Just walk by, Faith. All right. I don't even know you had any answers. 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't even know my Twitter handle was or nothing. Um, I think Twitter is crystal de to underscore. Um, Instagram is Crystal Dangerfield five. If anyone knows how to change your instagram name after you've been verified, please let me know because I don't know how to do that. I'm telling you to honor back instead of a five.

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