MILWAUKEE -- Dallas Mavericks rookie forward Jae Crowder was acting like a little kid after practice Monday when he and forward Vince Carter went and visited Marquette University.
Crowder was the Big East Player of the Year last season while playing for Marquette, and Monday he got an opportunity to visit with Marquette coach Buzz Williams and some of his former teammates
"I got to watch about an hour of practice, and afterwards coach (Williams) gave me a chance to talk to the guys and take questions from the guys,'' Crowder said after Tuesday's shoot around at the Bradley Center. "I brought Vince with me, and you know those guys were fired up about that.
"We stayed there for about an hour and let them ask questions about the league, about the (NBA) lifestyle, everything, anything. It was a great experience for me.''
Tonight will also be a great experience for Crowder when the Mavs (29-33) face the Milwaukee Bucks (32-29) at 7 at the Bradley Center. Unfortunately, Crowder's Marquette teammates and college coaches will not be in attendance since they left for New York today to begin play Thursday in the Big East Conference Championship.
Still, the opportunity to return and play in the city where his college roots reside makes for a memorable occasion for Crowder.
"It's unusual to come back and play an NBA game in your college arena,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "You don't see a lot of that in this league.
"Jae's a special guy, so this will be a nice thing for him. It's definitely exciting for him and guys in that situation.''
Crowder said it was a no-brainer that he would return to Marquette once the Mavs made their one and only visit to Milwaukee.
"I was right there (in college) last year, so I know what those guys are going through and thinking,'' Crowder said of his ex-Marquette teammates. "Of course when an older guy like Dwyane Wade came back we were all locked in to hear what he had to say, so I know those guys were doing the same for me.''
-- Dwain Price
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