LAS VEGAS — Nets guard Allen Crabbe makes $18.5 million a year, an exorbitant figure that was inflated when the Nets made a restricted free agent offer in 2016 that the Trail Blazers were forced to match before trading him to the Nets last summer. Although he averaged a career-high 13.2 points for the Nets, Crabbe’s salary still is a ton of money, but this story isn’t about whether or not Crabbe deserves that salary.
No, this story is about what he did with that windfall in an era when professional athletes are considered to be profligate spenders with little redeeming social value. Not true.
Crabbe recently received a call from his aunt to let him know the school she founded and named after his uncle Frederick K. Price III, who was killed as a child when he was hit by a car, was about to close for lack of funding. That struck a nerve with Crabbe, who attended that Christian school from pre-kindergarten through his senior year in high school before going on to prestigious UC Berkeley.
“My aunt came to me a couple months ago about the school struggling a little bit,” Crabbe said recently after watching the Nets’ Summer League team play. “A couple weeks ago, they had a board meeting and decided to shut the school down. But my mom was asking me if I could step up and make that donation. It was the right opportunity, and I wanted to do it.”
Crabbe declined to discuss the exact amount he donated except to say it was “six figures,” and it will keep the school going for another year while it seeks long-term funding from other sources.
“Basically, it’s my family school,” Crabbe said. “I knew the type of circumstances they were in. I just stepped up and made the donation. I’ve got nephews and cousins and family members that still are going to school there. It was an opportunity for me to do that, and I did it.”
Crabbe grew up in Culver City, a middle-class section of Los Angeles. But his former school is located in South Central Los Angeles, a gritty neighborhood riddled with gangs and crime. In that sense, the school always has been an oasis for children who aspired to greater things.
“It is a tough area, but they have the right people teaching there,” Crabbe said. “I feel like that school allows them to turn over a new leaf in life to kind of guide them down the right path and to make the right decisions.
“You couldn’t see an institution like that shut its doors when you’ve seen a lot of success from past students doing great things. You want the younger kids who love the school to continue to grow there and be able to get their education from that school.”
Describing his own experience, Crabbe said, “It was just a great institution. You didn’t have to worry about anything bad happening to you. You’re surrounded with great people teaching you the good ways to life.”
Crabbe emphasized he’s only one of many NBA players who give back to their communities in ways that all too often go unnoticed. He took pride in helping dedicated teachers keep their jobs.
“I didn’t think it would get this much publicity,” Crabbe said. “I was just doing something out of the kindness of my heart to help my family. It’s as simple as that. I’m blessed to be in the situation I’m in that I can help my family’s school and allow all these other parents to not have to worry about where they’re going to enroll their kids in September. They’re able to continue their education and continue to grow as people at that school.”