The Daily Pennsylvanian asked Penn women’s basketball senior Tori Crawford 15 questions about her sport, her time at Penn, and her life overall. Here’s what she had to say.
1. Introduce yourself
I’m Tori Crawford. I’m a senior and I’m from Potomac, Maryland, which is about 30 minutes outside of D.C..
2. Where were you spending your lockdown and is it different from where you are now?
Right now I’m in Philadelphia living off campus with my sister, who also goes to Penn. I spent my quarantine time in Maryland with my family.
3. What did your average day look like before you came back to Penn?
So, it really depended. Through the months of July and August I was working at an internship, so I’d go downstairs to my little space right outside the kitchen and work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. depending on the day. Then usually try to get a workout in before or after that. I was also doing virtual physical therapy so sometimes I’d be up at about 6 or 7 in the morning. It was pretty jam-packed during the day, but after work or after my workout I would hang out with my sisters and just try to do fun stuff, a lot of ‘tik toking’. That was definitely a big part of my day.
4. How has your average day changed since coming back to Penn?
Everything is online and being a student-athlete, we’re used to having most of our days planned and getting from here to there, so it’s definitely been a lot of adjustment and making sure I’m carving out my time. Usually I have practice scheduled or workouts, so I build my schedule around that and I’m pretty booked throughout the day, so that’s definitely the biggest change coming back to Philly.
Obviously, not having facilities open and not being able to practice it’s definitely being creative in how to use your time. I think that my teammates and I can relate in the sense that we’re not used to having this much free time. Knowing how to prioritize what you need to get done is the biggest change.
5. How were you feeling supported and motivated by your teammates during quarantine?
Every summer we’re split into four different groups: strength, conditioning, championship behavior, and skills. It’s a two-week rotation and there’s a leader for each group. You have to send it different challenges and different things, so it’s a great way to keep everyone accountable and motivated. We have to send in pictures or running times and things like that so it’s a great way to hold yourself accountable. It’s worked and we’ve done it since I’ve been here at Penn, so it’s been a great system to work by.
6. You’re a senior at Penn and your basketball career here is coming to a close. Can you think of your fondest memory?
There are so many memories to think about. I think one of my favorite memories had to be one of our foreign trips. There’s been so many; we went to Hawaii this past year, which is still in the U.S. but a great getaway. We went to the Bahamas my freshman year and going into my sophomore year we went to Europe. I think the European tour was my fondest memory.
It was great to go to another country and be able to play but also be able to have that time to connect with my teammates and bond. We were going into a very new year and losing a lot of key pieces from our team that previous year, so it was great to get a head start in building that team chemistry.
7. How has basketball factored into your experience at Penn?
Basketball has been the biggest part of my life since I started playing competitively when I was nine years old and I’m now 21, so it’s been a really long time. It’s pretty much taught me every single life lesson I know. How to be disciplined, how to work with people, how to collaborate, how to work hard and just how to do everything that makes you successful in the business world or whatever industry you choose.
It shaped my experience at Penn in such an amazing way because every year you’re competing to win the Ivy League and make the NCAA Tournament and be at the top our conference, which is a top-10 conference in the country, and you’re also at a top-10 school in the country. Having the mix of being at one of the greatest universities in the world and playing for an extremely high-level basketball program has really shaped me as a person and has made me work hard for everything I have.
8. If you were imagining that you were going to play a game, like tomorrow, what’s something you would look forward to?
There are probably two things, one is more of a fun team thing that we do. I’m a huge visualizer, so I love to visualize myself in certain situations like tied game with a second left and I’m at the free-throw line making the free throw. Visualizing that stuff and visualizing me playing well definitely helps me stay super confident.
If we were going tomorrow I would hope it would be a Friday, because during Ivy season on Fridays we do something called ‘flex Fridays’, which I would say I kind of started but it was definitely a team thing. We make it a different theme every single Friday and just wear crazy outfits or different things. We did a 2000s flex Friday, which was a big hit, and I wore a Juicy sweatsuit so that was super fun.
9. You’ve had an amazing career at Penn thus far, what part of yourself do you want to leave behind for the girls coming after you?
A huge part of my game is doing whatever at all costs to make the team successful. A lot of the things that I pride myself on doing don’t always come up in the stats and I think that it’s important to have people like that, that always bring energy and bring tempo and always give 100-percent effort. That is the thing that I want to leave behind and have other girls look at me for.
I’m a person that will do whatever the team needs me to do; if that’s scoring or bringing up the energy or firing up the bench — it’s doing the little things. That’s definitely the legacy that I want to leave — just being a teammate and being a person that wanted to do whatever she could to help Penn basketball win.
10. What’s something that you’ve wanted to do in the last couple of months that you haven’t been able to do because of COVID-19?
Just getting involved, especially with the Philadelphia community. We’re so busy sometimes so it’s very hard to give back sometimes or look at what’s available. For the first time in my career at Penn I was looking at what clubs are available because basketball is very time-consuming.
This is such an unprecedented time and there are a lot of people in need, so we as a team and myself [individually] have been looking at ways that we can give back to the Philadelphia community in ways that we weren’t able to because of how strenuous our basketball schedule is.
11. How is your senior year at Penn wrapping up? What are you majoring in?
I am a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, so PPE, major with a concentration in Choice of Behavior, so right now I’m in four classes. It’s pretty strenuous in the sense of getting towards the end of my major; it’s a lot of capstones and 300 and 400 level classes. I’m only in four classes, which is nice, but they’re definitely important – very important – for my major.
12. Is there any class you’re enjoying this semester?
I’m taking it as an elective, but Sports Business Management in Wharton. I’ve always been an avid sports fan, and my family growing up — whether it was golf, or tennis, or baseball, football, basketball, or randomly even soccer — always had a lot of sports going on in the house. I’ve been always been curious of the business side and always thought that was a very interesting facet of sports just because they are such a huge business nowadays, so I’m super excited to learn more [in] that class. It’s been fun so far!
13. Do you have a TV/Netflix recommendation?
I love Netflix! I love anything where I can just binge watch things. I love “Gossip Girl”, it’s a guilty pleasure. I think there are like six seasons [and] I’ve probably watched each season at least five times, it’s a classic. I’m also really into action movies as well. There’s a really good movie with Chris Hemsworth called “Extraction”, which has a lot of action.
14. What’s something fun you did this summer?
This summer was actually super fun. I’m one of six girls, but there’s four of us in the house, so I was able to spend a lot of time with my sisters. A lot of that time was spent cooking and baking — we baked so many things. One of our favorite things was to challenge ourselves to make any dessert we could think of vegan. We were looking at recipes and thinking ‘how can we make this vegan?’ You know, no dairy, no eggs, so it was a fun challenge.
15. Your younger sister is at Penn, so what advice would you or have you given her based off of your experiences?
There are two [pieces]. In any class it’s so important to have a relationship with your professor, if it’s a smaller class, or a relationship with your TA, because that really pays dividends once it gets to the end of the semester. Also, I told her it flies by so fast. I remember when I was a freshman and now I look and I’m a senior so just making the most of every moment is so important.