Crystal Dangerfield isn’t one to draw attention to herself. During games, it’s rare to see her crack a smile, and you almost certainly won’t see her showboating. Sure, she’ll make a fancy no-look pass or celebrate after a big play, but that’s just part of the game. Even during interviews, the sophomore guard is typically reserved and quiet.
“On the court, Crystal is on a mission,” redshirt sophomore Batouly Camara said. “She’s laser-focused.”
“She’s a lot more focused and intense on the court than she is off,” junior Napheesa Collier added. “When she’s on you can tell she’s locked in and ready to play.”
Her stoic demeanor on the hardwood is a great quality to have in a point guard, especially at a program that prides itself on playing in the moment.
“She’s a serious person in general but she brings that calmness on the court and it’s been cool to see her take on that role on the court,” Azura Stevens said. “She’s really job-oriented which is good for us.”
But when Dangerfield isn’t playing basketball, her teammates see a different side of her.
“She’s pretty silly and fun-going off the court,” Collier said.
Despite playing for the top programs in the country and being one of the more high-profile athletes around campus, Dangerfield isn’t unlike a typical college sophomore. She enjoys watching movies, relaxing and eating — lots of eating. But there’s one thing that sets her apart: Her love of Spongebob Squarepants.
“Huge fan,” Dangerfield said, flashing a big smile. “I’ve watched it since I was a kid and I haven’t gotten away from it.”
When things get tough either in school or on the basketball court, she can just flip on her favorite show and be in a better mood almost instantly. It’s also a way for Dangerfield to tap back to her childhood.
“It’s really just me trying to be a kid still,” she said. “Yeah I’m in college, but I love it.”
However, the point guard doesn’t just stop being a fan when she crosses the threshold into of her room. Anytime she can, Dangerfield is finding a way to work Spongebob into everyday conversation.
“Any chance she can get, she will watch it. She’s always giving quotes like ‘This reminds me of that,’” Camara said. “Her love can’t even be described.”
Dangerfield’s affinity for Bikini Bottom certainly isn’t something that has gone unnoticed by her teammates. When the team did Secret Santa around Christmas, Kia Nurse gave Dangerfield a DVD set of Spongebob episodes.
“We always quote stuff for her,” fellow sophomore Kyla Irwin said. “We know how much she loves it.”
When asked which character she sees herself as, Dangerfield had a pretty quick answer: Mr. Krabs — the money hungry owner of the Krusty Krabs. So she likes her money?
“Yeah I do,” Dangerfield laughed.
However, they don’t completely meet eye-to-eye. As Krabs would say, “Money is the ultimate source of happiness.” But that’s not quite the case for Dangerfield.
“[Spongebob] is my happy place,” she said. “I like to watch it anytime I can.”