Dear Editor: I just wanted to express my sympathy to the family of Billy Crowell and to all his friends and loved ones in Newton County. B.C. was one of the very few mentors in my life, and his devotion to the kids of Porterdale (I am proud to count myself among that group) was unparalleled. Being tall for my age and having played "back alley" basketball every day of my life at the home court of Spencer and Quinton Boyd, Coach Crowell allowed me to start playing on the school team when I was in sixth grade. It was the highlight of my preteen years and an opportunity that afforded me the ability to go on to play the game all during my teen years at Newton High.
I remember in junior high sitting in the gym many afternoons after practice with Nan Hollingsworth, Jackie Yancey, or Janet Curtis just listening to Coach’s many stories about his life and the athletes he had coached. He was forever giving me pointers on how to defeat that Star from Covington, Josephine Heard, who just happened to be my best friend. Those were days of so much joy and respect for the game of basketball that it has carried over to this day as I enthusiastically support my Los Angeles Lakers. Our athletic program in Porterdale headed by Coach Crowell gave many of us the confidence to go forward upon graduation to achieve our athletic goals in high school. He continued to support us all throughout our careers and into our adult lives.
I just hope he knows how much he was loved and appreciated by everyone through many generations. I, like all of his fans, was looking so forward to having him rolled into the new Porterdale Gymnasium at the time of completion. It will be bitter sweet now, but I know he can stop "his practice session in heaven" long enough to enjoy the festivities when that day comes!
Nadia Shaw Coody
Coto de Caza, Calif.