Story Links

Feb. 26, 2003

By Cathy Bongiovi

With basketball players for parents, junior Anna Crosswhite was born into playing the sport.

The third of Perry and Janice Crosswhite’s four children. Anna followed in the footsteps of her parents and two older sisters.

“I was seven years old,” recalled Crosswhite. “There was a local under-10 competition, and my Mom and Dad asked me if I’d like to play.”

The 6-1 forward hails from Castlecrag, Australia. In addition to basketball, her mother was the Australian hurdles champion. Her father played in three Olympic Games.

“Mom still plays in the local competition back home,” Crosswhite said.

But the decision to play basketball in the United States came easily.

“Basically I wanted to keep playing basketball at a high level and improve, because in Australia, I was just a bench player,” Crosswhite shared. “I knew I had to get stronger and coming over here, I knew I would get stronger.”

Connections in the states made the transition smoother. Crosswhite’s father played basketball at Davidson College in North Carolina for former UVa athletic director Terry Holland. Her aunt (father’s sister) and uncle- Jan and Wes Page- live in Southern Maryland, which gives Crosswhite a home away from home.

“I’m an American citizen. Actually I’m a dual citizen,” Crosswhite revealed. “My Dad’s American. His parents were in the Army. He was born in Bethesda, Md., and lived everywhere from Chicago to France as a child.

“He was recruited to play basketball in Australia for a club team,” she continued. “He met Mom, and they were married six months later. They settled in Australia.”

Crosswhite hasn’t focused on being so far away from her home or her family.

“I don’t think about being away from home, but rather the opportunities here,” Crosswhite said. “I’ve taken advantage of everything that’s been offered to me here at school.”

In her four years on grounds, Crosswhite has made good use of her time. A two-time team captain, she’s earned Academic All-ACC honors twice. Last season she was named the team’s Best Defensive Player. This year, the junior is a candidate for the prestigious Verizon Academic All-America Team. She was recently selected to live on The Lawn for next year.

“Living on The Lawn is an honor and reward for your efforts to the university,” Crosswhite said. “But it’s also a responsibility to continue to uphold the traditions of the university.”

This week, however, the Aussie is preparing for something else- a visit from her parents.

“Yes, I’m excited. I haven’t seen them since August,” Crosswhite said. “Mom likes watching me play.”

Her parents will visit Virginia for a week before heading to the West Coast to check on brother Ian, who is a freshman for the nationally ranked Oregon men’s basketball team.

“I’ve seen him less than the other family members the last two years.” Crosswhite said of her little brother. “I talk to him every couple of days, and it’s good to talk to him.”

Crosswhite’s completed a bachelor’s degree in education and is now pursuing a master’s in teaching. She will student-teach next fall at either a middle or elementary school in Albemarle County.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Australia,” she said of her post-graduation plans. “If a job opportunity arises here, I’ll consider staying. I want to coach sometime.”

Knowing Anna Crosswhite, the basketball family tradition will continue for years to come.

Off the Court with Anna


Food: Bodo’s bagels

Color: blue

Animal: Labrador puppy

Hobby: watching cricket

Movie: Thomas Crown Affair

Actor: Russell Crowe

Actress: Rachel Griffiths

TV Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Book: Anne McCaffrey’s Tower series

Children’s Book: Harry Potter

Song: My Happiness

Music Group: Powderfinger

WNBA Team: Washington Mystics

Spot on Grounds: The Corner

UVa Tradition: Honor Code

A bumper sticker that best describes me says very, very blunt!

If I had to play another sport at Virginia, I would play men’s lacrosse.

Three words that best describe me are blunt, honest, nosy

If I could do anything,

I’d spend more time at home in Australia.

The best advice I’ve ever given is to do everything in moderation.

I can’t believe how quickly my three years here at UVa have gone.

The best thing about being a Cavalier is the fans and the tradition in the program.

My goals for the season are to make it to the Final Four in Atlanta.

I admire Debbie Ryan, because she cares for every one of her players.

Print Friendly Version