A tough offensive player who possessed exceptional rebounding and passing skills, Joan Crawford, was an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) star and a leader of the women's basketball movement in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s. At 5-foot-11, Crawford played center for fourteen AAU seasons (1955-69), two with Clarendon in Texas and twelve with Nashville Business College (NBC). Crawford was named to thirteen consecutive AAU All-America teams and won ten AAU championships with Nashville Business College. Crawford was named Most Valuable Player in the 1963 and 1964 National AAU Tournaments. She led the United States to a gold medal in both the 1959 and 1963 Pan American Games, averaging 11.4 ppg in 1959 and 16.3 ppg in 1963. Crawford was also a member of the 1957 U.S. World Championship team that defeated Russia for the gold medal.