McCallie 7-Footer David Craig Hones Basketball Talents to Earn D-One Scholarship to Mercer
McCallie basketball player David Craig gives new meaning to Big Blue. Craig is the big man on campus standing 7-feet, 2-inches tall. Craig came to McCallie from South Africa, and now he has honed his basketball talents to earn a division one college scholarship.
When you’re 7’2, you’ve heard all the tall jokes.
Said Craig: “I think the worst one I heard was like. Somebody said wow, you almost got struck by lightning. Watch out man. I was like wow.”
Craig attends McCallie football games and sits with his fellow students. But what about those sitting behind him?
Said Craig: “I don’t even sit on the step. Just so I can give the person behind me a little room, but I mean I just turn around like, good luck man.” (laughter)
So how did a kid from South Africa wind up playing hoops at McCallie.
Said head coach David Conrady: “We get a lot of people that send us e-mails and want information about McCallie. I’m a basketball player. So we got David’s, and I didn’t think a lot about it until I got one a little later on in the process when he said hey, I’ve grown to be about 6’10 now. So that one got my attention, and I immediately went to our admission’s people and said this is probably one we need to investigate a little bit.”
Said Craig: “My parents wanted me to go to an all boys boarding school in the South. When you do that, McCallie is going to be the first school that comes up. So we were blessed enough to get the financial aid that we needed, and here I am.”
Reporter: “Why did they want an all boys school in the south?”
Said Craig: “They just felt that would be an environment where I could stay focused, and also an environment where I would be welcomed. You know the southern hospitality.”
Craig wears a size 20 shoe. He’s a traditional center to say the least, and there’s always a role for guys his size.
Said Conrady: “You watch him and you’re like yeah, he can do that against a 6’5 kid, but could he do it against a 6’10 kid, and he can because of just his size and strength.”
Said Craig: “I used to be a point guard before I hit a growth spurt. I know how to read the game from a guard’s perspective, so I know what they try to.”
Last week, Craig signed to play college basketball at Mercer.
Said Craig: “Coach Gary was the first thing that stood out to me. He came from Purdue. They were really known for the big men. I remember we were watching a film session on my official visit there. He’s just bringing up so many plays about what he could do for me on the offensive end. So much space and timing.”
Before Craig heads off to college, he must pass one McCallie tradition.
Said Conrady: “To graduate he’s going to need a pair of white pants. So you just don’t go down to Target and get a pair of white pants to fit someone that’s 7’2.”