xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Crump brings intensity and endurance to Vikings

Mt. Hebron senior Nia Crump is featured in this week's Howard County Times Varsity Q&A, playing a few games with her teammates. (Jon Sham/Baltimore Sun Media Group video)

As the daughter of a marathon runner and a world champion karate expert, Mt. Hebron senior Nia Crump was destined to have sports as a part of her own life.

The three-sport athlete has been a standout for the Vikings on the soccer and lacrosse fields, and the basketball court.

Advertisement

Now in the midst of a heated county title race, Crump talks about her eclectic athletic background, her commitment to play lacrosse for West Point, and a few other interesting hobbies that she manages to fit into her busy schedule.

The 49-48 loss to Atholton on Jan. 31 was a heartbreaking ending for you guys, but was that one of the more memorable games you've played in?

Advertisement
Advertisement

I live for moments like that. It's a packed gym, it's the two top teams in the county going at it. Both teams have something to prove ... Although we did lose, just playing with that level of intensity throughout was amazing. It was very memorable.

Megan Konig and Meghan Doherty have been on varsity since freshman year with you. They're multi-sport athletes just like you. What's it been like having them as teammates?

It's been fantastic. I love playing with them. They work hard and they go hard all the time. I played AAU with Megan Konig and we played against Meghan Doherty in sixth and seventh grade, so we've known each other since then. Just to be able to work together in a high school setting, it's just been so awesome. We tear it up on the court together so hopefully we'll tear it up as grannies years from now. That would be really cool.

What is (junior center Gabrielle Green) like as a teammate?

Advertisement

Gabby steps up when we need buckets ... she has height, she has muscle, and she has composure. To be able to depend on someone to step up when we need her is great. Getting the ball into Gabby, we know she's going to make a play or we know she's going to get fouled. There's a lot of trust that comes with her height and her ability.

How did you get into karate?

My dad (Stanley Crump) is the martial arts world heavyweight champion, and just growing up I would be around him while he was teaching in our basement. People would be coming in in their karate uniforms and I would always sneak downstairs to watch, and one day he was like 'Why don't you come join us?' I fell in love with it and I found myself getting more athletic and then breaking boards and punching things. To just have that bonding time with my dad as a young girl growing up really shaped the person that I am today and shaped the athlete that I am.

What other team sports did you try growing up?

I was on debate team in middle school. I found myself in the leadership role because in school I'm a really big history and English person, and I really like to argue with people. To find all of that information and to lead a team to defeat another team was awesome. That's probably where I developed some of my competitiveness from.

Have you ever felt pressure to focus on just one sport?

I get asked that by a lot of people and my answer is always the same. I love all three sports because I really excel in different areas of each sport that shape me as an athlete. For example, in soccer I like to push people around and I'm very aggressive and I have really good field vision. In basketball, that translates into court vision and getting rebounds. Also with basketball I've become very composed, and that goes into triathlon with remaining focused and not giving up when you feel tired. I honestly don't have a favorite sport, I love all sports and I just like to be physical and active. It's good for you and I like to be in a team environment.

What made you choose to play lacrosse for West Point?

I chose West Point because I really like to help people. My junior year I was president of the leadership class and I got to lead the canned food drive ... Just being able to hand the mom the box of cans and then give the little girl toys was the best feeling ever. From then on I knew that I had to go help people. At West Point I get to go there for four years and then I get to go into the Army for eight years, so that's a better way to help my country. I chose to play lacrosse in college because in basketball I'm physical and I have good court vision, in soccer, it's field awareness and aggression, and then in lacrosse those things just merge together and that's what a defender does.

Do you have any siblings?

Yes. Interesting fact: me and my two brothers have the same birthday, and we're not twins. It's really weird. I was born late and they were born early. Avery (7) goes to Worthington. He swims, he does gymnastics, he does karate and he plays basketball. And Kobe (13) plays basketball, he plays football, he plays soccer and he still does karate.

Do you know what you want to study at West Point?

I want to go into international relations ... then, after I've done my commitment, I want to go work for CNN and be a news anchor.

What do you do outside of sports?

I work for my dad at his gym. During the summer I work as the summer camp program director's assistant, so I do a lot of the scheduling. I come up with activities and I just get to work with kids.

How do you find that triathlons help you with your other sports?

Mentally, triathlons help you a lot because unlike basketball, soccer or lacrosse, it's you out there. You have to go swim a mile in the ocean with 300 other people around you and there are fish swimming underneath you, so you really learn to just stay composed and stay in your zone and get through it. It's always great to have teammates saying 'you got this' but you need to believe that you can cross that finish line ... it's up to me to say 'I know I got this' and take that last shot or run and get that last steal.

What's the hardest triathlon that you've ever done?

I would have to say the Outer Banks Olympic-distance triathlon because the water was really choppy, and it was my first coed triathlon. My wave had a lot of really big guys in it, so people were swimming over me which was the worst ... This big guy literally came and took my swim cap and pushed me down underneath him and I thought I was going to die. Those triathlons get crazy.

Any other interesting hobbies?

I like to cook. I like to make desserts. I make a mean red velvet cake. I can make cheese cake, I can make cake balls, brownies, I just like dessert a lot. I make really good curry chicken. That's a Trinidadian dish. My mom has family over there.

Tell me about coach Tony Bell.

He's a really good person, and a lot of people who come to the games don't see that because all coaches are hyped up during games. During practice he is not just a coach, he's a big brother to us all. If we're having a bad day we can go talk to him. I'm not that great of a shooter, but Bell is always in my ear telling me 'you got this' and then at River Hill (on Feb. 3) I hit my first three-pointer in four years. In FOUR YEARS! It felt awesome. I could have stopped and just cried, but I had to play the game. It was awesome.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement