Dream Big: Familiarity Breeds Content, and Success
Jan. 3, 2005
When it came time for Crystal Smith to decide where she wanted to play college basketball and attend school, there was no hesitation in her choice of the
Specifically, one of those people is former
"I have known the coaches since I was 12 years old," said Smith. "I remember the first time I went to one of their camps at
Smith's presence has meant a lot to
"It has meant a lot because as she was growing up our relationship was more part time," said Morgan. "Due to the distance, we didn't get to see each other very often. Now, we have the unique and special opportunity to be together full time as father and daughter and share in something we both love."
Smith, also considers this time she is spending with him and the knowledge she is gaining from him to be a bonus.
"It's an honor and a blessing to have him as my coach and dad," said Smith. "We get to do so many things together on and off the court. It means a lot to me that we get to share this opportunity. Just having him with me on the court is a blessing. He is like my best friend."
In his playing time at
"As a kid, there were so many people that I wanted to be like," said the junior. "My dad was one. I would hear stories about how good he was and I wanted to be just like him."
While he is her father, Morgan knows there are things that Smith must work on in order to become a better basketball player in addition to some things that she already excels at.
Despite being a little tough on her, Smith knows that on the court he is her coach, while off the court he is her dad.
"Actually, he doesn't give me a hard time at all," said Smith. "He is like one of those coaches that can be a parent off the court. He sometimes gets on to me when he knows I can do better. But other that he is the best dad and coach to have at the same time."
For Morgan's part, he does his best to treat all his players equally - no matter who they are.
"I try to stay consistent with the way I coach all of our players and
What they have done a good job with is getting through their non-conference schedule this season undefeated. Now, Smith will continue to try and led the Hawkeyes to a Big Ten title with the help of Morgan - as a mentor, teacher and comrade and father.