He is still known as "The Legend." Mickey Crowe was the star of Manitowoc County's former JFK Prep School in the mid-1970s. His long hair and outrageous plays were hard to ignore.
"An evolving type of action of the way the game of basketball was played and a way nobody ever really saw before," explained Crowe.
He played in a way that was also hard to forget. Crowe scored a Wisconsin high school career record, at the time, of 2,724 points. He seemed destined for NBA greatness.
"He was a show, he was a circus when he was doing his thing back in the mid-seventies and then he kinda disappeared and, I guess, what happened to him?" said sportswriter Brett Christopherson, who explores that very question in "Over and Back: Mickey Crowe" a new book about Crowe's life.
During a book signing in Appleton, Crowe was open about what kept him from his dreams.
"When you're trying to get to the top you cannot afford to stop and I stopped to party. It cost me my chance. I take full responsibility myself for the fact I didn't make it," Crowe explained.
After high school, Crowe bounced around a few colleges, but nothing came of basketball. He told FOX 11 he became addicted to alcohol and drugs and suffered bouts of severe mental illness.
Crowe told us he is now clean, sober and a better person for his failures. A lesson, he explained, others can learn from.
"You come out stronger, sometimes, than you would've been without the failure," Crowe said.
That's the main reason Christopherson told us he wrote this book.
"The cool thing is he bounced back. The title of the book is 'Over and Back' and I think that's great because it really says it all," Christopherson explained.
And Crowe told us this is his second chance to be a legend.
"I'm really exhilarated by it and it's something that I'm going to treasure for the rest of my life," said Crowe.
Crowe's career scoring is still the second-best in Wisconsin high school history. Anthony Pieper of Wausaukee broke Crowe's record in 1993 with 3,391 points.
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