Courtside with Crotts

Girls basketball team welcomes new coach

As the next game approaches, head girls basketball coach Kris Crotts walks the team through offensive plays. Crotts has been coaching for a decade at surrounding schools in Kansas, but this is his first year with the Dragons.

Crotts was an assistant boys basketball coach for two years in Oswego before he became an assistant girls basketball coach for two years at Baxter, where he eventually became a head girls coach for six years.

After coaching at the same school for eight years Crotts was looking for a new challenge.

“I just enjoyed and have seen the Pittsburg girls and played them before and knew that we were getting a good group of girls here. I knew there was a good tradition of girls basketball and wanted to be a part of that.”

The Lady Dragons are now 2-6 heading into their ninth game tonight against Girard.

I just enjoyed and have seen the Pittsburg girls and played them before and knew that we were getting a good group of girls here.”

— Kris Crotts

With his decade of experience, Crotts has developed a system to ensure the girls are calm and collected by tipoff time.

“I try to put them through as many pressure situations as I can in practice. That way, the games feel more enjoyable,” Crotts said. “[The plays we run] we don’t have to think about, we can just play and take care of business.”

Crotts utilized events prior to the season to familiarize himself with the girls. According to senior Kaitlyn Kidd, the girls worked with Crotts often during the summer, especially during the Pitt State camp.

“When you’re a new coach with new drills it takes a while to get to where the girls know your drills,” Crotts said. “You can get into a good practice and I feel like we’ve hit our stride here lately.”

Crotts tries to connect with his players on a personal level and not just as a coach.

“He always asks about our day and how our personal lives are going,” Kidd says. “He’s not just concerned about basketball, but [about] us as individuals.”

Crotts sees being a PHS basketball player as more than just being a good player, he also pushes his girls to be good people.

“Number one, I ask them to compete every day. I ask them to sacrifice everyday,” Crotts said. “I hope to instill a sense of community in [the team] as well as being a Dragon and being a girls basketball player. It’s bigger than just the walls of the gym. There are a lot of kids in the community that look up to them, and I like to, whenever we can, take time to give back to the community and be well represented in the community.”