Rising Lord Botetourt freshman takes his basketball skills overseas

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BOTETOURT COUNTY, VA. (WDBJ) -- Soon to be freshman Jackson Crawford knows his way around a gym floor.

Push ups. Dribble.
Stay hydrated. Dribble.

Even in between interview questions, he dribbles.

"I've always been a basketball fan," Crawford said. "I know God gave me the ability to play."

Practicing a little extra this week in a familiar sport to prepare for a place that is not.

"I didn't know I'd be where I am today," he said.

Where he is today, just two weeks away from the greatest experience thus far in his 14 years of life.

"We'll be playing in Germany, Italy and Austria" Crawford said.

Jackson and nine soon to be teammates from across the country were selected to represent the USA in the United 14-U World Games in Europe, and they're going for the gold.

"Yeah it definitely shocked me but I was over the top excited. I just want to get out there and play," Crawford said.

Maybe a shock to all of us who haven't watched him grow up playing basketball, but right beside him every step of the way, his coach and proud father, Gary Crawford.

"To follow him, up and down the road, 12 months a year, it's been an incredible ride so far," Gary Crawford said.

"He means the world to me. He's trained me ever since I've played at the age of four. He's traveled with me, never missed an event. I love him to death," Jackson Crawford said.

It's all the camps, all the connections, all the work behind the scenes.

"To watch this young man every day to know what he's passionate about isn't just a one or two day a week thing for him," Gary Crawford said. "He's driven."

All of that combined makes Jackson one fantastic basketball player, but one day, an even more fantastic man.

"Basketball is just one facet of life," Gary Crawford said. "The greatest thing for a father is to have other folks come to you and tell you what a solid young man he is. That means more to me than basketball ever will."