Brooklyn Nets Summer League: Allen Crabbe Values Connections off the Court

Nets guard talks teammates, and saving his family school in Los Angeles

LAS VEGAS — Allen Crabbe knows how important the Frederick K.C. Price III Christian Schools are to the community back in Los Angeles. Until he headed off to the University of California, Berkeley as the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball, it was the only school he’d ever known, from pre-k through high school graduation.

It was home to him, and to many others.

“My first-grade teacher is still teaching at the school to this day,” said Crabbe. “It’s not just people going in and out of the school. They have people who really impact the kids and really give a hand to contribute to these kid’s lives.”

And there is a more personal connection. The school was founded by Crabbe’s aunt and named for his late uncle, killed as a child when he was hit by a car, with support from Crabbe’s grandparents. Crabbe’s grandfather, Frederick K.C. Price, is the founder of the Crenshaw Christian Center and the school is located on the Center’s campus.

So when financial difficulties left the school’s future in doubt heading into the upcoming academic year, Crabbe stepped in with a substantial donation to keep the school operating.

“It was kind of an easy decision for me,” said Crabbe. “It’s my family school. I still have a nephew that goes there, I still have little cousins that go there. They just needed help. As somebody that’s been blessed with the platform that I have and somebody who’s in that position where I can give back and help, just being able to impact and help out my family and the other families that there are kids that attend that school, I thought it was a great opportunity for me to step in.”

The Price Schools just completed their 33rd academic year with an enrollment of 176 students from kindergarten through high school, maintaining their 100 percent graduation rate and 100 percent acceptance rate to four-year universities, according to Lauren Hopkins, the school’s development coordinator who, like Crabbe, attended the school from pre-k through high school graduation.

The focus on a Christian education, with weekly chapel service, is central to the school’s mission. And the small class sizes – all under 25 students – is crucial to its success, with the school’s principal able to work one-on-one with junior and senior high school classes on their college prep and applications.

“I think what makes it cool is you don’t have to deal with any nonsense really because you’ve been there your whole life,” said Hopkins. “You don’t deal with a lot of peer pressure or inconsistencies. You get to focus on just going to school.

“Your kindergarten teacher can still check in with you when you’re in sixth grade. They’re very invested in how you’re progressing. You feel very comfortable and very safe there because it’s been a second home.”

While Crabbe has been splitting his time between Brooklyn and Los Angeles this summer, staying connected with his teammates has been important wherever he is. Back in May, they came to him with a team gathering in Los Angeles.

While the players organized their own workouts in California as they are in Las Vegas this week, the team dinners and off-the-court time were even more significant to Crabbe.

“Just us buying in as a team,” said Crabbe. “We know how important it is for team chemistry to be on the court, but off the court as well. We feel that’s a big piece of a team’s success. Everybody’s just buying in. Go to places, just get out of always being in New York, just going somewhere else where everybody can meet up and work out. I think that’s the plan, that’s been the idea of the summer. Just doing that, waiting for the next one. But just us working as a team, continuing to grow together, continuing to improve.”

Crabbe finished his first season in Brooklyn averaging career highs in points (13.2), rebounds (4.3), assists (1.6), and minutes (29.3). He set a team record with 201 3-pointers made and finished the year on a high note with a career-high 41 points on his 26th birthday on April 9.

Following the All-Star break, Crabbe averaged 15.1 points per game and shot 41.4 percent from 3-point range. He’s looking forward to building on that going into next season throughout the summer.

“Continue to work out,” said Crabbe. “Continue to work on my game. I want to do whatever I can to maximize this summer. It’s been a while since I had a summer that I didn’t have to get traded or I wasn’t hurt, so it’s been smooth. I’ve just been able to focus on working out and work on the things that I need to work on.”

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