Friday, February 1, 2008



It was a conversation with which Dax Crum was all too familiar.

Southern Utah University coach Roger Reid had called Crum into his office. And Crum knew exactly what was coming.

"I told him he could come out for the team, but the chances of playing were very, very slim," Reid said. "In my mind, I didn't think there was any chance he'd ever play. No way."

However, a half season into Reid's tenure at the school, Crum, who was born without a right hand, has forced his coach into playing him significant minutes.

The 6-foot-2 senior guard logged a career-high 16 minutes, made a 3-pointer and slowed down Missouri-Kansas City's leading scorer, Dane Brumagin, for much of the second half in a 63-60 loss earlier in the month.

"I've coached this game for a long time and they ought to build a monument of him," Reid said. "Dax is all about defying the odds and playing for the right reasons."

Crum was born without nearly his entire right hand. Just a tiny finger sticks out of his nub and is barely noticeable. Crum's parents were given the option of transplanting a toe to act as another finger, but they declined due to concerns with post-surgical rejection.

It's crazy, but many opposing players, coaches and fans are often shocked when told of Crum's handicap after watching him play or practice. UMKC sports information director James Allen was completely unaware throughout the entire game. Southern Utah assistant Ron Carling's wife had no idea after watching Crum play for nearly three weeks.

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