Anna Crosswhite: The Total Package
March 8, 2004
by Cathy Bongiovi Stewart with assistance from Dustin Lubertazzi
Fifth-year senior Anna Crosswhite has seen and done it all during her time on Grounds. Playing limited minutes this season due to chronic knee problems, the two-time team captain has plenty on her plate to keep her busy.
Outside of basketball, the 6-1 forward from Castlecrag, Australia, is a Class of 2004 Trustee, a member of the Student-Athlete Mentor Council, and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. A Dean’s List student, Crosswhite has been named to the Academic All-ACC Team three times. Last summer she participated in the NCAA Leadership Conference. Crosswhite is the total package- good student, good athlete, good citizen.
For her hard work Crosswhite was selected to live on The Lawn this year, an honor reserved for seniors with impeccable academic performance and outstanding contributions to the University of Virginia.
“Living on the Lawn as a fifth year wasn’t really a goal of mine, but it’s definitely an accomplishment I’ll always remember,” Crosswhite shared. “I really enjoy living there, and I enjoy the people there. I’m involved in different organizations and met people I never would have met if I had just kept myself within the basketball realm.”
Crosswhite has completed her degree in physical education and will receive her master’s degree in teaching in May. She spent the fall semester student teaching at Charlottesville’s Sutherland Middle School and Baker-Butler Elementary School.
“It was great. I definitely enjoyed it. It’s what I want to do the rest of my life,” Crosswhite said of her teaching experience. “Those are two great schools, and I enjoyed the kids. It was really tough doing that and basketball. I was very tired at the end of the day. I know what it’s like to have a full-time job and play basketball. I wouldn’t recommend it for other people, but it’s an experience I’ll always remember.”
As Crosswhite prepares for her future in the classroom, she reflects on how her life here started. Crosswhite’s father, Perry played basketball at Davidson for former UVa athletic director Terry Holland. Holland was well aware of Crosswhite’s basketball talents and desire to play in the U.S.
“Originally, he was the reason the coaches got in contact with me,” Crosswhite said of Holland’s help. “He just let them know who I was, and they took it from there.”
Born and raised in Australia, Crosswhite came to Virginia to pursue her education on and off the court.
“I was already playing basketball (in Australia) at the semi-professional stage” she said. “I was playing the bench position, and I needed to develop more. I wanted to gain experience. This was definitely the way to go.”
With her parents living on the other side of the world, Crosswhite spends free time with her aunt and uncle, Janice and Wes Page, in Maryland.
“My aunt and uncle, who now live in Delaware, definitely help me out a lot,” Crosswhite revealed. “I can always go and see them. They’re my second parents, and I’m like their third child which is why it’s been a wonderful experience. It’s been great to get to know my family over here which I hadn’t had the chance to before that.”
Crosswhite’s younger brother Ian is also playing basketball in the U.S. Now a sophomore at the University of Oregon, Ian is a two-year starter for the Ducks.
“Ian chose Oregon, because the scenery around Oregon reminded him a lot of Australia,” Crosswhite said. “It was a laid-back, more relaxed atmosphere. It’s the Pac-10. It’s definitely a program that fits him.”
Despite being in the same country, being on opposite coasts has been difficult.
“We don’t really see each other too often,” Crosswhite said. “I went out there at the beginning of the year for the first time, and he’s going to come for graduation. Apart from that, we talk on the phone. That’s about it.”
With basketball genes in their family, Crosswhite hesitates to say who the best player is.
“Dad played at a different time back in the late 1960s,” Crosswhite said. “I think my Dad’s probably a smarter player than my brother, but my brother has the physical prowess over my Dad. Now he’s much bigger than him.”
A citizen of both Australia and the United States, Crosswhite’s post-graduation plans are still up in the air. While teaching is in the cards, she is awaiting the right opportunity.
“I’m looking at a couple different programs to teach overseas,” Crosswhite shared. “One is actually a UVa program- I would go teach and coach in England for a year. I don’t know how that will work out. I’m still waiting to hear about that. That’s an option. I may just go travel for a few months and go home. I’m also looking locally at different jobs around here. It’s just basically to see what options I have, and then I’ll make that tough decision.”
Whatever Crosswhite decides, she’ll make the right choice.