Craig reaches goals on and off court

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 20, 1999

That may be because of last year when everyone expected the Saints to win the state championship. And even though they went 31-9, captured MPSA South A State and finished third in state, that didn’t seem good enough.

“Everyone was expecting us to win it, so sometimes I don’t think we tried as hard,” Craig said.

That’s where the goals have taken precedence this year.

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“I&160;think you have to have goals and our first goal is to win district,” Craig said. “Our second goal is to win South State. State is too far off from now, so we’ll wait on that. I think we’re good enough to win it, especially after beating Silliman by 20 points. But I’m going by how hard this team plays and as much heart as we have. There’s so much heart this year, in everything.”

Trinity’s basketball team is currently 11-3. Craig said this season has been a lot more fun because the “expectations” are not there.

“Nobody is expecting us to do anything this year,” he said. “When we beat Parklane, it was like winning state.When we beat them last year, it was, ‘OK, what’s next.'”

Craig started playing basketball at the age of 10.

“When I was in the second or third grade, I liked baseball, basketball and football,” Craig said. “I couldn’t ever decide which one I wanted to play the most. Finally I decided I liked basketball the most.”

Craig then had to convince his father, Wade Craig, of that fact.

“He told me he wasn’t going to get me a basketball goal until I learned to dribble,” Bobby said. “Most people just spend time shooting the ball. But you have to dribble to get to where you can shoot. So I would just dribble on the patio.”

As soon as he got the dribbling part down, Craig got his goal.

“I would come home, do my homework real fast, and then go shoot,” Craig said. “Sometimes I did it in the car so I could go right out there. I’d stay out there until dark.”

Craig his dad wanted to see if he was really serious about the sport, so he did not concrete the court.

“There wasn’t a piece of grass around for a long time,” Bobby said.

After transferring from Cathedral to Trinity in the ninth grade, Craig spent most of his time in the Trinity gym.

He was called up by current Trinity head coach David King to the varsity team after competing with the junior high team in ninth grade.

“That was very intimidating,” Craig said. “I was a scraggly, small, lean kid and wasn’t very quick.”

But Craig did contribute and came back his sophomore year to average 20 points a game.

“I don’t think I would have had as good a sophomore year if I would not have played some varsity as a freshman,” he said.

The transfer of Marcus Calcote and Demetries Minor from Natchez High to Trinity last year had everyone buzzing.

Calcote broke several scoring records in tallying more than 1,000 points (28.8 average).

Craig averaged 18.8 points a game.

“I thought when Marcus got here it would take away from my game, but it didn’t,” Craig said. “He got his 40 points and I still got my 20.”

The 6-foot-2, 165-pound Craig is currently averaging 22 points a game and averaging 5.31 rebounds.

“The biggest thing this year is that I spent all summer in the weight room,” he said. “I gained about 20 pounds. It made me stronger and I think it made me a lot quicker, too. I would just stay outside and shoot 3-pointers. Now I drive to the basket more.”

Craig connected on a school record eight 3-pointers against Copiah earlier this year.

“I started off real slow and was getting kind of frustrated,” he said. “But you can’t let that get in your head. I just had to keep playing and shooting. You can’t let the other players or officials get in your head. I got going in the second quarter. Scott Maggio made a steal with two seconds left in the first quarter and threw the ball to me. I pulled up about five feet behind the 3-point line and made it. If I can hit two or three 3-pointers in a row, I know I’m not going to miss many.”

Craig played football for the first time this year, hitting five extra points and a field goal and also had several kickoffs inside the opponents’ 10-yard line. He also averaged 30 yards a punt.

“Everybody else was playing, so I wanted to play,” Craig said. “I played soccer for five years, so I knew I could kick it. The first day I of practice I made a 40-yarder. I didn’t think I would punt, but I ended up doing that. It was fun. I would kick 30 of 45 times and then go into the gym and play one-on-one with Kris (Thomson) and Will (Darsey) before he went off to school.”

Craig hopes to continue playing basketball in college.

“I have to work on my free throws and on my pull-up jump shots,” he said. “I’m not hitting them as good as I should.”

Which takes care of Craig’s two personal goals.

“I’m just going to continue working as hard as I can,” he said.

And you can rest assured there will be no grass growing under his feet.