East Peoria senior forward Brock Crippen scored zero points in Friday night’s 59-37 defeat to Mahomet-Seymour at the Team Works Invitational at Washington High School.
“I want (Crippen) to score more, but he is so unselfish,” East Peoria coach Matt Wright said. “He’s trying to get other people involved all the time and always plays in the right spot on defense.”
The unselfishness is what makes Crippen one of East Peoria’s team captains.
“Brock is a terrific leader and we knew he had good leadership skills, even as a sophomore,” Wright said.
A varsity player since his sophomore year, Crippen has grown as a basketball player during his four years as a Raider.
But it is what he has accomplished off of the court that Crippen is most proud of.
Crippen has been accepted to The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina.
“Getting that call was amazing,” Crippen said, referring to when he found out he was accepted. “It was the coolest moment because I got the call when I was in the locker room, and to be able to share that moment with my teammates was awesome.”
While he wants to pursue a career in the military once he graduates East Peoria, Crippen has not decided if he will go to The Citadel, only because he has the possibility to join the Air Force Academy.
In order to attend a military academy, you have to receive a Congressional nomination.
“A nomination can come from the Vice President, a senator or a congressman that is in your district,” said Crippen. “Congressman Darin LaHood nominated me to the Air Force Academy.”
Crippen is waiting to hear from the Air Force Academy on his application, but said being nominated is an honor.
“To even be nominated to the Air Force Academy is a huge testament to (Crippen),” Wright said.
Influenced by his father as a child, Crippen has always had the passion to serve others.
“My dad is one of the most giving people I know, and he never wants anything in return,” Crippen said. “As I’ve grown from freshman year on, I have just wanted to give as much as I can (at East Peoria High School).”
At East Peoria, Crippen has helped coach basketball camps along with Wright.
“He coaches basketball camps and engages well with the little kids,” Wright said. “He doesn’t realize the growth that he has gone through by helping others. That will be the lasting impact he can have, because the kids he has impacted will be better because of him.”
He is also a member of the Link Crew at East Peoria.
Link Crew is a high school transition program that welcomes freshman into the school and helps them transition into the first year of their high school experience.
“I really just want to be able to help people where I can,” said Crippen.
While Wright appreciates the hard work that Crippen brings to the basketball court, he believes that Crippen will leave a lasting impression on the entire East Peoria community.
“He likes to engage the community and be a positive influence,” Wright said. “On top of what Crippen brings to the basketball court, he is in the top ten of his class academically. His legacy will be that he left East Peoria High school, community and athletics in a better place than he found it.”