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Basketball Mom Courts New Business In Northwest Detroit Neighborhood

DETROIT (WWJ) - Sylvia Crawford has spent much of the last decade as a "momager" for her two sons, Joe and Jordan Crawford. The men spent a few years at various teams around the NBA, and played pro ball as far away as Israel and China. Crawford often followed along.

Now, Crawford has returned to her roots and is dedicated to help boys and girls in Detroit to play sports just like her sons.

She opened The Pro Shop in the basement of the Northwest Activities Center in Detroit.

"It's home," said Crawford. "My husband and I both grew up in northwest Detroit and had some of our earlier recreational experiences here at the Northwest Activities Center. We also raised our kids in northwest Detroit."

Crawford sells items for sports fans like Tigers and Lions bathrobes, complete with slippers, as well as caps and t-shirts. Her brands runs from pro and college sports to soccer.

"We do have soccer merchandise," said Crawford. "We're a pro shop and sports is a multi-billion global industry and that's why we want inner city youth and families to see sports beyond just what they see on the court."

Her store, tucked away in two rooms in the basement of the rec center, also carries practical items like healthy snacks and arch supports for the students who are taking part in sports at the center.

Crawford has plans to offer customized gear for local teams, including schools and other programs. She also hopes to introduce "cool" gear exclusively from The Pro Shop.

The prices are competitive, with some shirts ranging as low as $19.99 and up. Crawford is proud that her rent goes back to help the center and the community.

"One of the big reasons that we're here is that we wanted to be a part of Detroit's revitalization, and small business is going to be a big part of that. So we're not downtown, we're right here in the neighborhood."

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