Paul Crosby remembered at Holt

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HOLT, MI. (WILX) -- Memories and well-wishes are pouring in for the family of Paul Crosby.

Paul Crosby will be remembered for the things he did off the court.

The former state champion basketball player was killed in a traffic accident this week.

As a sophomore, Crosby helped the Holt Rams to a 2005 state title in basketball.

But ask anyone in Holt, and they'll tell you Crosby will be remembered for the things he did off the court.

"He's a fly under the radar kind of guy...but he doesn't fly under the radar well," said Ben Bakken, a coach on the Rams when Crosby played (2004-2007).

"You see he's 6-8, 6-9 so big, and you don't want to approach him," a teammate, Muhammed El-Amin said.

"He commands a presence but the second you got to know him he'd make you feel like you were a friend," said Renee Sadler, the Athletic Director at Holt. "I always say he was a gentle giant."

Sadler tells me that after graduating from Holt in the 90's, she followed the Rams closely when they made their state title run 14 years ago.

"I got to know him through basketball and later when I became a coach I got to know him as an alumni," she said. "He'd come back and talk to kids and help the basketball coaches and teams."

His friends and coaches say that Crosby was always willing to give back to a community that did so much for him.

"He was in our middle school a few weeks ago, because a teacher reached out to him and said 'I have a kid in my class that reminds me a lot of you. Just needs some positive influence and mentorship.' Paul came and hung out with him for a day," Bakken said.

A teammate of Crosby's says that give back mentality was second nature to him.

"He was gracious to people," said El-Amin. "He was kind, he inspired people...he inspired kids...students...he was just a good person to anyone that he encountered."

And Bakken says Crosby's wife Kelsey told him It's exactly how he would want to be remembered.

He said, "He would always tell her what a local legend he was and she would jab at him, like 'yeah right.' She said that right now he's smiling and laughing and saying 'I told you so.'"

His athletic accomplishments are not to be overlooked.

Crosby was a three-time All-Conference player at Holt, making the AP All State First Team twice.

He also led Mississippi Valley State to their fifth ever NCAA Tournament in 2012.

He was the Southwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Bakken told News 10 that there will be a memorial service for Crosby on Thursday, November 7th, at Holt High School. News 10 will update with a time when that information becomes available.

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