Beloved Harlem Coach Mike Crump Suddenly Passed Away Over the Weekend

January 16, 2014

jan-22-00-05One of the most respected coaches in the NYC prep scene suddenly died over the weekend. Wadleigh’s Mike Crump suffered a fatal brain aneurysm on Saturday evening. Throughout his nine years at the helm, the popular Harlem coach turned Wadleigh into one of the most competitive programs in the city. From the NY Post: “Mike Crump, the funny, popular and bluntly honest boys basketball coach at Wadleigh Secondary School in Harlem, died Saturday night at the age of 44, assistant coach and close friend Joe Hunter told The Post. Hunter said Crump suffered from a brain aneurysm. Crump was a dean at the school and a competitive poker player who would often take trips to Atlantic City and Las Vegas for vacation. He turned Wadleigh into a winner, winning six straight Manhattan borough titles before the run was snapped last February and won a regular season division title in each of his nine full seasons. Wadleigh reached the PSAL Class AA quarterfinals five times, but was never able to get over the hump and into the league’s Final Four. “He was more than a coach — he was a father figure,” said former player Trivante Bloodman, now a junior guard at Mississippi State. “I’m speechless. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be at this level right now. “It’s just shocking. I still haven’t slept since [Saturday] night.” More than his on-court accomplishments, Hunter remembered Crump as Harlem’s Father Flanagan, a coach who would welcome troubled kids to his program and help anyone who needed assistance, taking money out of his pocket for his players. “That dude had a heart of gold,” Hunter said in a telephone interview, his voice cracking. “As far as Harlem, he’s the unmatched king of basketball. His legacy is that of winning and that of success. The people that were brought to him, many were special cases, and 70 percent, 80 percent were positive outcomes.”

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