YORKTON - Paige Crozon is making a habit of notching notable milestones in basketball.
Crozon, who hails from Humboldt, had a notable college career with four years playing NCAA Division I basketball at the University of Utah, where she scored more than 1,000 career points and served as team captain for two seasons.
She then played professionally in Germany for the Saarlouis Royals.
Internationally, Crozon has competed for Canada on multiple occasions, including at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2017 FISU Games, U-17 Cadet World Championships and the U-19 Junior World Championships.
And now she is playing for Canada in 3-on-3 basketball while also exploring coaching, including time in 2021 as a coach with the Saskatchewan Rattlers in the CEBL, and now as assistant with the Lethbridge Pronghorns.
While Crozon’s long-term future might lie on the bench with a clipboard in hand, at present she is also still an elite player.
Along with teammates, the Edmonton twins Michelle Plouffe, and Katherine Plouffe, and Kacie Bosch, Crozon was on the Canadian team which recently won this country’s first-ever silver medal at the FIBA 3x3 Basketball World Cup in Antwerp, Belgium.
The team came within a couple of baskets of gold dropping the final 16-13 to France.
“We were in a really tough group,” said Crozon, adding Canada wasn’t a top-rated team going into the event. “We were the 13th seed going into the tournament.”
The schedule was hectic too.
“We played eight games in six days,” said Crozon.
Canada was grouped with No. 4 Spain, No. 5 the Netherlands, No. 11 Israel and No. 14 Chile in their pool, opening the event with a 21-10 win over Chile and then topping Israel 22-5 on the opening day of competition.
The Canadians would lose to Spain 18-16 in overtime then rebound with 21-12 win over the Netherlands advance to the round of 16.
Canada defeated top-ranked Germany 22-13 in the Round of 16 then edged the U.S. 14-10 in quarter-final action.
In the semis Canada stayed hot with a 16-14 win over Lithuania setting up the gold medal final appearance.
As for the silver medal Crozon said her team played well.
“I’m really proud of our effort,” she said.
International play is not new for Crozon. Her experience with Team Canada included the 2012 U18 World Championship for Women, the 2011 U19 World Championship for Women, the 2011 Pan-Am Games, the 2010 U17 World Championship for Women, and the 3x3 World Championships.
Looking back on the first taste if international 3-on-3, Crozon said, “it was a really positive experience,” adding “I was in high school at the time.”
So when the recent opportunity arose, it was an easy choice to pursue it.
“I wanted to be part of it,” said Crozon.
Crozon had played with the Plouffe sisters, and the addition of Bosch rounded out the squad well.
“She’s (Bosch), so good coming off the dribble,” said Crozon, adding she is also a good defender.
Of course that is one of the core elements of 3-on-3, players can’t generally be a specialist, good at only one aspect of the game. They all need quickness, and be able to shoot and defend, or at least that has been the general thinking for the Canadian team.
“There’s definitely a different style of play (from 5-on-5),” offered Crozon. “. . . Being able to shoot, I think that definitely helps. You score from all over, all the time,” she said.
But just how to build the best 3-on-3 team is a matter of some debate.
“The way countries organize their teams, there are a variety of different strategies involved,” said Crozon. “There doesn’t seem like an exact formula yet.”
One thing Crozon said is important is for every player to know the game of 3-on-3.
“Part of the game is understanding the game. Experience really goes a long way,” she said.
Holding a women’s World Cup is another step for the sport, just as was it making its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, but neither of Canada's men's or women's teams qualified.
“Women are getting closer to the point of equality,” said Crozon, adding there are still strides to make to achieve total equality.
The 3-on-3 game can be part of the process in the sense 10-minute games “are always so exciting,” said Crozon, adding because they are quick people who aren’t particularly basketball fans can still watch and enjoy.
“I love playing 3-on-3,” said Crozon.