The Crocs Academy Program (formally known as the Sharp Start Program) is the Crocs Official Player Development Program, and has been running at the Crocs for over ten years. It is the most successful development program of its kind in the NBL – producing such Crocs players as Michael & Chris Cedar, Mitch Norton and Todd Blanchfield.
Sam Gruggen has taken the reigns of the Development Program this year which includes basketballers from the Townsville area and around the country.
The squad consists of Chris Kann, Tom Howard and Marshall Ware all from Townsville, as well as Brent Wallace (Rockhampton Rockets) and Ryan Vines (South West Metro).
Mitchell Norton is one of the initiative’s greatest success stories with the Currajong resident going on to secure a prestigious AIS Scholarship and represent his country at a junior level. Norton is the latest Crocs Academy product to be signed to a full NBL contract by the Crocs, and spoke very highly of the program that helped nurture his outstanding talent.
“I started the program when I was pretty young, training with guys like Keegan Tudehope and Chris Cedar – Former Crocs Players – and we all really enjoyed it. To have the players we all looked up to being out at our trainings, and to learn from their experiences first hand, was really great,” he said.
Current Crocs player and Crocs Academy graduate, Mitch Norton.