A large number of high school athletes have the desire to play their respective sport at the next level. For some, that dream does become a reality. For others, their path is a different one.
For Golden Valley alumnus, Justin Tabor, the path taken has been a different one as he attended New Mexico State to study athletic training. Tabor soon found himself still involved with the game he loved but in a different role. He became involved in the coaching aspect of the game.
Tabor said while he was in high school he saw a poster from New Mexico State on a wall so he decided to apply. He got accepted to the school and immediately became involved with the basketball team. The school worked out where he could become a student manager while on work study. Tabor graduated with a bachelor’s in Kinesiology and is currently working on his major in education. As his time at NMSU came to an end, he realized that he still wanted to be involved in the game. Looking for opportunities he found one in Coffeyville, Kansas. After going through the interview process he soon landed a job at the junior college as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team.
Trying to be a role model for the athletes he coached, Tabor remembers fondly the people who helped him along the way. A person who influenced him were his high school coaches, coach Larry Keys was like a father to him, the way coach Keys would get players to “buy in” to his system influenced him to become a basketball coach.
Coach Chris Printz also influenced Tabor because he was strict and would always demand you to “buy in” to his system and his ways. “Coach Printz always taught the importance of taking pride in preparation for anything,” Tabor said. “He was big on details which I find myself doing the same as I continue my coaching career.”
Taking those lessons, Tabor was better prepared to deal with the difficulties of coaching.
“Justin was a natural leader from the moment he entered high school as a freshmen, sometimes his play on the court spoke for itself, but Justin really shined with what he did for our teams in practice, in the locker room, and on the bench,” coach Printz said. “Justin never complained about playing time, instead he devoted his energy on encouraging teammates and coaching from the sideline.”
Tabor had many responsibilities in the basketball program at NMSU such as assist with practices, drills, individual and group workouts, basketball camps and assisted with academic guidance. Tabor learned a lot at New Mexico State to help him with his coaching.
“Always make as much off the plate of the head coaches and coaches as possible. Be available at all times, which in return allows the coaching staff to trust you with more responsibility,” Tabor said.
Tabor, like many other people, uses inspirational quotes to motivate him.
“Never think you are bigger than any job, do anything and everything,” he said.
Most people don’t know much about Colleyville, but Tabor said Colleyville is special because it established athletics, especially basketball and is a great community to be a part of.
Within his job he has many roles from watching film, scouting the opposing team so he can create scouting reports for the coaches and players, going on road to recruit players, as well as being in charge of all student managers. Unlike other coaches Tabor is always full of energy when coaching. Tabor has a big career goal and that is to become a Division 1 coach where he can win championships.
With a great work ethic and the ability to reach young people, Tabor has a bright future when it comes to coaching and working with young people. No matter where he ends up we know Tabor will represent himself, his family and his school in a positive way.