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Austin Croshere: Once Promising Pacer

Indiana is predominantly a basketball state. Everyone knows this; all you have to do is watch the movie Hoosiers to get a glimpse of the hoops heritage in play here in Indiana. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that a number of professional basketball players and potential NBA stars have lived or were born in Fishers, Indiana, a prosperous suburb to the north of Indianapolis. Among the ranks of such famous Fishers sports figures as Alan Henderson, Reggie Miller, and Zach Randolph is Austin Croshere, a long time player for the Indiana Pacers who lived in Fishers, Indiana.

Video of Fishers, Indiana resident Austin Croshere making a monster dunk for the Indiana Pacers

 

Even taller than fellow Fishers NBA player Alan Henderson, Austin Croshere stands at 6’10”, making him a natural for professional basketball. He was born in Los Angeles in 1975 and attended school in Santa Monica, California. After high school, he moved all the way across the country to attend Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, which is where he first gained widespread attention as an excellent forward. He got better year after year at Providence; his sophomore year, he turned a few heads at the Big East Tournament, he made the Third Team All-Big East squad his junior year, and was promoted to First Team his senior year. Along the way, Croshere set a league record for consecutive free throws (with 57), and he led the team in scoring during his junior and senior years. In his final year at Providence College, he led his team to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Men’s Final Four Basketball Tournament.

Video of Fishers, Indiana resident Austin Croshere and Providence College defeating West Virginia in the 1997 Big East Tournament

 

In 1997, Austin Croshere joined the NBA Draft. He was picked 12th overall by the Indiana Pacers, who he eventually signed with as a power forward and small forward. He got off to a shaky start with the Indianapolis sports team; he was plagued by injuries during his first and second season, only appearing in 26 out of 50 games in 1997 and 27 in 1998. By the 1999-2000 season, however, Austin Croshere came into his own. He helped lead the Indiana Pacers to the NBA Finals for the first time since the NBA and the ABA merged in 1976. Croshere played an important role in the 2000 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 15.2 points and 6 rebounds per game. His success during the NBA Playoffs earned him a long contract with the Pacers, though his role on the team was later diminished.

Video highlights of Fishers, Indiana resident Austin Croshere’s nine year career with the Indiana Pacers

 

After the 2000 NBA Finals, Austin Croshere played with the Pacers for another six seasons. By 2006, however, he had been taken out of the general rotation, and he spent the rest of his career being traded from team to team. The Pacers traded Croshere to the Dallas Mavericks in July of 2006. It was with the Mavericks that Croshere had his best scoring game, scoring 34 points against the Seattle Supersonics in 2007. He moved to the Golden State Warriors later in 2007, spent the 2008-2009 pre-season with the Pacers, but was eventually waived by Indiana and picked up by the Milwaukee Bucks. His last move was to the San Antonio Spurs; he signed a ten day contract with the team, scored 4 points in 3 games, and was released. Austin Croshere retired from the NBA soon after, in 2009.

Video highlights of Fishers, Indiana resident Austin Croshere’s 2007-2008 season with the Golden State Warriors

 

This famous Fishers person was once a promising star for the Indiana Pacers, but fizzled out soon after his career-making appearances in the 2000 NBA Finals. Austin Croshere was one of Providence College’s finest players (he’s still their 10th best career scorer), and his nine years with the Indiana Pacers would prove to be some of his best. Though his later career was disappointing when laid next to his early achievements, Austin Croshere was still a valuable part of the Pacers roster for many years and brought plenty of victories to Conseco Fieldhouse. In addition, he was a tireless advocate for Indianapolis non-profit organizations and Indianapolis children, a constant presence on the Call-A-Pacer program, and an active participant in community outreach programs in the cities where he played. Austin Croshere may not be remembered much outside of Indy, but he helped make the Circle City a better (and more competitive) place.


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