Hustle ready to open new G-League season

Hustle ready to open new G-League season
Markel Crawford is entering his first season with the Hustle. (Source: WMC Action News 5)

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Basketballs are about to start bouncing in Southaven as the Memphis Hustle get set to open their second season in the NBA G-League.

This year’s squad is almost completely new. The only returning player from a year ago is former Arkansas Razorback Dusty Hannahs.

Outside of that, the Hustle have a new head coach in Brad Jones, and a brand new roster.

Two of those new roster additions include former Memphis Tigers Markel Crawford and DJ Stephens.

Crawford went to Melrose High in Memphis and played for the Tigers before finishing his collegiate career with Ole Miss in 2017. Stephens was a crowd favorite among U of M fans from 2009-2013 for his high flying dunks and shot blocking ability. The two now share the same court as professionals, and say they look forward to working together this season.

“It’s crazy since I didn’t get a chance to play with him at Memphis," Crawford said. “In high school, we grew up watching guys like that, and wanting to play for that team. Now I get to play with him. I think it’s going to help me develop my game, and I can learn a lot from him.”

“He’s like my little brother, and we’re pretty much family in that sense, and just being able to play with somebody who went to the same alma mater, you both share that same blood line because of that,” Stephens said. "To be able to share the floor with him, play with him, compete with, and continue that brotherhood, it’s a great feeling.”

The Hustle open the season Saturday at Rio Grande Valley. The home opener also against the Vipers is next Friday, November 9 at Landers Center in Southaven.

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