Crystal Bradford and United States World University Games Team Capture Gold with
90-71 Win over Russia
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – It has been quite the year for Central Michigan junior Crystal Bradford.
Bradford, a native of Detroit, Mich., and product of Inkster High School, added yet another piece of hardware to her trophy case Monday afternoon helping the United States World University Games team capture a gold medal with a 90-71 win over host Russia. The games were being held in Kazan, Russia
“I’m so proud of Crystal and how far she has come,” Central Michigan head coach Sue Guevara said. “Region-4 All-American, MAC Tournament MVP and now a gold medal in a very different role. She accepted her role and she excelled in it. Watching her accept her gold medal gave me goose bumps. There were some people that doubted Crystal could accomplish all she has and she isn’t done. She has made great progress and has had some great experiences, but she is only going to get better.”
Bradford scored 16 points in the championship contest versus Russia, including eight points during a 16-6 run in the first half to help the United States hold a 41-27 halftime lead. She equaled her first half total in the second half by converting a pair of three-point plays.
“It's an unexplainable feeling,” Bradford said in a release from United States Basketball. “I wouldn't want to have it with anyone but these 11 girls. I think everybody on this team deserved it. We all worked hard. The best feeling is, it wasn't given to us. We worked for it. So, to say was deserve it is huge.”
After a spectacular sophomore season in which she led the Chippewas to their first Mid-American Conference tournament championship since 1984 by earning Most Valuable Player honors, Bradford was one of 32 collegiate athletes invited to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for team tryouts. She was soon selected to the 12-member squad and has taken advantage of the opportunity.
Bradford made a name for herself at the World University Games, scoring the game-winning basket with 14 seconds remaining in a semifinal contest versus Australia. She finished the tournament averaging 10.8 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 60.4 percent from the floor in the six contests.