SHOOTING STARS: Red Level’s Poindexter, Crowell among nation’s most prolific scorers

Published 3:00 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

Red Level School basketball seniors Javen Poindexter and Mariah Crowell have seen their hard work and dedication pay off as they are among the highest scoring leaders in the state and nation.

After calling RLS home for 13 years together, they will graduate on May 24, 2024.

Javen is first in Alabama boys with an average of 38.0 points per game and is third in the country. Mariah is first in Alabama girls with an average of 27.5 points per game and is 52nd in the country.

“I started playing basketball at the age of 4 during Little League with my oldest brother KJ as the coach. Having the highest scoring average in the state is a testament to all the hard work, dedication, and countless hours I’ve put in throughout the years. It’s not just about the numbers, but it’s about the recognition and validation of my efforts. It has motivated me to continue pushing myself and to set higher goals,” Poindexter said.

“I started playing basketball at the age of 13. I fell in love with it the moment I picked up my first basketball and knew from there this was something I wanted to pursue. I am honored and so thankful that I have had the opportunity to showcase my hard work. I have spent the past five years dedicating myself to the sport I love and am very proud of myself for this accomplishment,” Crowell said.

In addition to achieving milestones for RLS, both players earned career highs. Javen reached 3,000 points this season and had a personal-best 73 points on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at Pleasant Home. Mariah reached 1,000 points while posting her personal-best 41 points on Tuesday, Jan. 2, in Georgiana.

“It’s an honor to represent my school on the court. I’m grateful for the memories, growth, and opportunities that basketball has brought into my life,” he said.

“Some find smaller schools difficult because everyone knows everyone else. From faculty to students, we all know each other and know each other’s families and family situations…everything. I have actually found that aspect easier than some to deal with. It has allowed me to learn about myself, my attitudes about life situations, and even why some aspects of my life are the way they are. I consider attending Red Level High School and playing ball here a huge part of becoming the person I am becoming. I am grateful to be able to represent for my city and prove to everyone that we are the underdogs, and we have more talent here than you’d ever expect,” she said.

Both agreed that being a Red Level Tiger has laid the foundation for their futures.

“Red Level is not just a place where I attend class, but it is my second home. I have formed lifelong friendships with teammates who share the same love for the game,” Poindexter said.

“I am very proud to be a Tiger. I love my teammates and hope as a senior to be an inspiration to them in some way. There are going to be wins and losses in life. There are going to be struggles, but we keep praying, playing, and keeping our heads up. I am so proud of my girls. I am also a part of the same team my grandmother went to State with. I know how proud she is to see me wearing the black and gold like she did as a Lady Tiger,” Crowell said.

Poindexter and Crowell have aspirations to continue playing basketball at the next level but are unsure where they plan to attend.

“One of my main goals is to play basketball at the collegiate level. Ultimately, I just want to make the most out of my athletic abilities while also preparing myself for a successful life beyond sports,” he said.

“I hope to attend college to continue moving forward in the two most important aspects of my life: basketball and my education. I would love to attend a school where I can major in meteorology, which has been a lifelong dream of mine, or sports medicine, which I have recently become interested in. Having the opportunity to continue my basketball career at the same time would be a dream come true,” she said.

Having support from their loved ones and peers has meant everything to them throughout their years on and off the court.

“I would first like to thank God for providing me with this opportunity to do what I love, my trainer who has played a huge role in my growth as an athlete, Jonathan Short of Nxt Up Nation for his passion of sports videography, and my family and friends. Their support means a lot to me. They are my biggest cheerleaders and are always there to encourage and motivate me. Their presence and encouragement make the journey of being a student-athlete even more rewarding,” Poindexter said.

“I thank the Red Level family for all the support, encouragement, and guidance I have received throughout my basketball career. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother have always supported me in my athletic and academic endeavors no matter the circumstances. My principal and track coach Tony Ingram has always pushed me to be my best self and taught me to persevere when faced with adversity. Thank you to my teachers and coaches for their contributions towards my growth and development. The support and love I have received from my family have brought me through all the trials and tribulations I have faced. They push me to be better than yesterday and remind me to stay focused on God because I wouldn’t be in this position without Him. I would not be the person I am today without everyone’s continued love and support,” Crowell said.

Javen is the son of Jeffery and Leola Poindexter with a brother, KJ Lawrence, and a sister, Jayla Poindexter. Mariah is the daughter of Allen Jones and Tannessia Crowell with a sister, Traniya Davis.