Sports Zone

Transition game: Criddle hopes to move into key role this season

He’s a young man of few words off the court, “but his personality on the court is the opposite,” Creswell Bulldogs boys’ basketball coach, Jesse Thomas said of returning wing/guard Payden Criddle.
A varsity/JV player last year as a junior, Criddle “has been fantastic this summer (league) and should be a major contributor for us this season,” Thomas said.
“Rebounding is a big thing I’ve improved on this summer,” Criddle said.
Thomas concurred: “Payden’s had at least one game with at least 10 rebounds, and he’s probably averaging about six,” he said.
“He’s definitely one of our best defenders, and he’s good at scoring and shooting the ball,” Thomas added. “He’s always been athletic and quick – but at his position he’s been behind some really good players. But he’s gotten to learn from those players what he needs to do to get on the court and get more playing time, and we’re seeing that from him this summer.”
Perhaps it’s no surprise that for Criddle, a track and former cross country athlete, his favorite aspect of the game is “running down the court in transition and getting the ball.”
Even as a counselor-coach, with other returning CHS players, during last week’s coed Youth Basketball Camp, Criddle’s love of running the court was apparent. His favorite part of camp was “the three-on-three tournament – helping the kids get out on fast breaks and transitions,” he said.
Criddle said he’s been playing basketball – “with a lot of the same people” – since first grade through YMCA and Kidsports. And while he looks forward to filling a larger varsity role this year, that camaraderie remains a big part of the game’s appeal.
“I just like hanging out with my friends, and I think (basketball) is really fun,” he said.



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