Mililani Goalkeeper Puts Basketball Lessons To Good Use

From all early indications, Rusty Crowder was destined to have an impact on the hardwood. While soccer has become the Mililani teen’s sport of choice, his time playing basketball was not in vain.

“All the footwork is the same,” said Crowder, who is in his fourth year as a goalkeeper, currently with Nike Rush ’99.

The summer already has been good to Crowder, whose team recently returned from Phoenix, scene of the U.S. Youth Soccer Far West Regionals. Nike Rush ’99 had qualified for the event by winning the state soccer cup in May. He and his teammates posted the upset of the Arizona tournament when they took out the top-seed Mt. Hamilton Atlas (of California) on a goal by Boogie Mattos in the quarterfinals. Crowder has been among the team’s catalysts this year. On the eve of last weekend’s Hawaii International Cup, he took some time away from the practice field to visit with MidWeek‘s Central Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest soccer-related memory? I started playing when I was 6, and I remember learning to kick.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life? My parents (Malcolm and Peachy Crowder). They take good care of me.

What area of goalkeeping are you focusing on this summer? Stopping breakaways. I’d like to improve on that part.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through soccer? I’m not sure, but I’ve learned a lot from playing.

Who is Nike Rush ’99’s best “practice player” – the guy who gives 110 percent at all times? Jonny (Connor). He always tries his best.

What Internet site do you frequent the most?

Facebook. I like just chatting with my friends.

What is your least favorite household chore? Cleaning the bathroom.

What movie could you watch over and over? Madea’s Witness Protection.

When you turn on the TV, what channel do you go to first? Disney Channel.

Do you play video games? What systems do you have? I have an Xbox360 and the Wii. I like Grand Theft Auto and Skate 3 – those are the two main ones I play.

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and can have only one food. What would it be? Probably fried rice.

What celebrity would you choose for a Saturday night date?American soccer player Hope Amelia Solo.