Staying True to her Passion

Staying True to her Passion

by Susan Neuhalfen

Lantana resident, Kim Crabtree, loves the game of basketball.

Born and raised in Cleburne, Texas, Kim says she’s been playing basketball since she could walk. From her small town community league as a child, to AAU club basketball in her teen years, she could be found on a court. A member of the Texas Basketball High School Hall of Fame, she helped lead Cleburne to a State Championship her senior year. She continued her basketball career at The University of Texas, where she was coached by legendary Hall of Fame coach, Jody Conradt. Coach Conradt taught her a great deal, not only about playing the game, but about playing it the right way. Her first coaching job was at UC Irvine, where Coach Crabtree spent five seasons coaching college basketball before starting her family. Though basketball takes a back seat to her faith, marriage, and motherhood, Kim has continued to teach the sport, now with the help of a very supportive husband and four daughters in tow.

True Texas Hoops may have officially made its club debut in January of 2016, but many of Kim’s players have been with her since age 5. Currently, her club consists of several basketball teams, coached by Crabtree, with the support and assistance of a great group of parents, who are actively involved in the program. Kim is teaching two 6th grade teams, an elite team and a select team, with 10 girls on each roster. It also helps that her daughter, Ashlin, who is the starting point guard, shares her mother’s passion for the game. True Texas Hoops competes against other club level teams in and around North Texas.

“Fortunately we are in a good area for girls basketball, with a lot of excellent programs at the club and high school level”, said Crabtree. “With so many great teams, the level of commitment and competition makes everyone better.”  

Her teams practice two days a week and have games and tournaments on weekends. Kim says she is blessed with an incredible group of parents to help, but it’s her husband, Scott, who is her biggest supporter.

“He’s an incredible partner,” she said of her husband. “He fills in the gaps and holds down the fort, to help juggle our busy schedule on nights and weekends.” 
Coach Crabtree also coaches a 4th-5th grade team, as well as a kindergarten team, for her daughters, Reese and Summer, who are both talented young players as well.  Kim is a firm believer that basketball is an amazing platform to help girls grow into confident, strong women.

“Oftentimes, in sports we’re faced with challenges and adversity, things aren’t always fair, but it’s in these moments that we have the greatest opportunity to grow and build character, so these are things that we continually talk about,” she said.

Coach Crabtree’s program has three foundational beliefs focused on teaching fundamentals, team first mentality, and character building. That’s why she named the club, True Texas Hoops, to encourage the girls to be true to themselves and who they will grow up to be.

“One day soon these girls are going to be entrepreneurs, teachers, business women, and mothers,” she explained. “We want to set them up for success in life, by preparing them to be confident leaders, who will make a difference in the world.”

Kim also talked about how middle school adolescence can be challenging; full of changes and learning experiences.  Between the parents and the other girls on the team, they learn to stand up for one another, stick together, and help each other overcome challenges, as they arise.

Kim is nothing, if not thankful. She loves the Lantana community and is grateful for the basketball court, where she and her family play pick-up games with other kids in the community, as often as they can.

“I love how basketball bridges together different groups of people,” said Kim.  

She is also grateful that God has placed so many wonderful parents and families into the program, who are actively involved with True Texas Hoops.

“Over the years, I have been blessed with good people around me, teaching, and helping guide the kids on the right path. My mission with True Texas Hoops is to set these kids apart, not just with athletics, but more importantly, by their character.”

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