Allen Crabbe doesn’t say much.
Cal’s talented wing (15.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 56.5 effective field goal percentage) chooses to speak with his game.
But last season’s Pac-10 freshman of the year exudes a quiet calm that comes from his strong spiritual background.
“It’s all about confidence, making sure that your teammates trust you and I think that’s the No. 1 thing. To get other people to listen to you, you have to build trust,” he told ESPN.com. “I feel like I’ve been behind some good leaders. … I try to just feed off of them, their energy that they bring to the team and what they expect from everybody. I’m just out here trying to do what I can to help the team.”
Crabbe said he’s also been inspired by one of the country’s most prominent pastors. His grandfather is Rev. Frederick K.C. Price, whose Crenshaw Christian Center boasts more than 20,000 members. Its services are broadcast on national TV each week.
In his hometown of Los Angeles, Crabbe played high school ball at private Price High School -- named after his grandfather -- and won 2010 Gatorade Player of the Year honors during his senior season.
He said he never separates his game from his faith. The sophomore credits his “God-given abilities” for his production.
“[God is] a part of my life all the time even though I may not say a lot about it in articles. I’ve really kept quiet about that type of stuff. I’m just quiet, period. He’s a part of my life all the time,” he said. “I always say a prayer before the game and every time I have a successful game or a bad game, I just thank Him for another opportunity to go out there and play.”
Crabbe's humble outlook on his skills has bolstered his appreciation for his abilities and fueled his work ethic. Led by a father who played at Pepperdine, Crabbe endured grueling workouts in high school. Sometimes, he and his father wouldn’t leave the gym until he hit 1,000 shots.
“It’s definitely helped me out a lot because I’ve always been a hard worker in high school. My dad has always pushed me,” Crabbe said. “He put me through workouts even when I was tired or didn’t feel like doing it. It was definitely good having him in my background, always pushing me.”
The summer after his junior season, Crabbe recognized his potential to compete at a high level in college. After a stellar freshman year at Cal, Crabbe’s success carried over into this season.
The Bears lost three nonconference games, but they have regained their footing in the Pac-12. Cal is 5-1 in conference play and Crabbe is a significant component for one of the country’s most talented backcourts.
“We have more than a few weapons. I feel like we have a lot of weapons. We have more people who can contribute this year,” he said.
The 6-foot-6 standout is one of Cal’s most dangerous options with his size and versatility. But he admits that the Bears need him to maintain a consistent intensity level, something he’s struggled with at times, to fulfill their potential.
“I’ve just gotta be aggressive every night, every game,” he said.
That expectation seems to contrast his serene demeanor. But, Crabbe said, he’s loud when he wants to be.
“A lot of people think I’m quiet, but once I get around you and get to know you, I’m not that quiet,” he said. “I’m always rowdy around my family.”
The most popular member of the latter is known all over the world. But Crabbe said he’s out to establish his own legacy through basketball.
“I just felt like basketball, that’s just my way to create my own name for myself,” he said. “Everybody knows [my grandfather] nationally and stuff and they know him because he’s a great pastor. He’s been throughout the world, changed people’s lives. I just felt like this is a way for me to create my own name in my family.”