KF’s Croker commits to Tech
Published 10:51 pm Friday, September 13, 2013
By Matthew Hatfield
Recognized as one of the top female basketball players in the Hampton Roads area, King’s Fork senior Khadedra Croker recently solidified her plans for college by giving a verbal commitment to play basketball in the ACC for the Virginia Tech Hokies.
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The 6-feet, 5-inch Croker selected the Hokies over East Carolina, among other prominent suitors. Coach Dennis Wolff and his staff, which includes former Maury coach Jermaine Woods, made her a major priority during the recruiting process.
“I chose Virginia Tech, because I just felt like it was a great fit for me,” Croker said. “I felt that I could really exceed my potential with that great coaching staff. I’m a very competitive athlete, and I knew the ACC would be tough.”
Virginia Tech’s coaches were enamored with several parts of Croker’s game, viewing her as a multi-dimensional front-court piece to their puzzle as they try to make a move up in the conference standings in the years to come.
“They liked that I can finish around the basket, that I’m a great rebounder, can shoot the 15-foot jump shot, am a lefty that can also finish with my right, and last but not least that I’m a team player,” Croker said.
In leading King’s Fork to a Southeastern District regular-season and tournament crown as a sophomore, Croker averaged 16.2 points, 13.5 rebounds and seven blocks per game with 11 triple-doubles en route to earning Southeastern District Player of the Year honors.
Last season, she was once again named First Team All-District as well as Second Team All-Eastern Region with averages of 15.1 points, 13.5 rebounds and six blocks per game.
As a junior, Croker surpassed 1,000 points in her career with the Lady Bulldogs and led the team to another Southeastern District Tournament title.
“For us, she’s been nothing but great,” said King’s Fork Lady Bulldogs coach Maurice Fofana. “When she graduates, we’re really going to miss her, because she definitely changed the program since I’ve been here. She’s such a force as a shot blocker, can make the outside shot from 15 feet in, finishes well with both hands and most of all is a great kid.”
“I see her playing the ‘4’ at the next level, which is good, because she’s probably not going to have to defend the biggest person on the floor,” Fofana said.
“With her size and being able to put the ball on the floor as well as finish with both hands, it’s going to help them present mismatches. Her being able to defend on the perimeter and underneath the basket is such a plus for Virginia Tech, and I think they’re getting a steal with Croker.”
Last season, Virginia Tech finished 10-20 overall and 4-14 in ACC play, losing to Miami (Fla.) in the first round of the ACC Tournament. Many of the traits Croker possesses and has shown in her career at King’s Fork she hopes will translate to the next level in Blacksburg.
How does Croker break down her own game at this present time?
“My strengths right now are my dominant left hand, blocking shots and helping out defensively,” she said. “I feel I need to get in top shape, because the game is much faster at the next level. I also have to play more consistent and aggressive on both ends of the floor.”
At Virginia Tech, Croker plans to study sports medicine.
What can the Bulldogs and their fans expect from her this upcoming season?
“A great leader and a force to be reckoned with,” Croker said.
After a couple of regional playoff appearances that ended with losses at the Norfolk Scope to eventual championship-winning teams, King’s Fork is looking to take that next step this season behind their centerpiece.
“The next level is the state championship,” Fofana noted. “Since she was a freshman she’s told me she wants to win a state (title) before she leaves. The last two years in a row, we’ve been close. Hopefully, this year will be the year, so that she can go out on the best note as a state champion and signing a Division I scholarship with Virginia Tech.”