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EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: Woman scores big on soccer field

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) --She's got the kicks of a superstar and the medals to prove it. Kimberley Crabbe was the first African American to play on the U.S. Women's soccer team and that's just the beginning of her athletic success.

Crabbe has excelled on the soccer field for as long as she can remember. "I was a pretty good athlete at the elementary school level and one of my gym teachers spotted that right away," Crabbe said.

Her talent on the field would only grow from there. She played at the collegiate level with George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Sporting the number 7 jersey, Crabbe helped lead the Lady Patriots to the NCAA championship in 1985.

The next year Crabbe made history by becoming the first African American to star on the US Women's National soccer team. "Being the athlete on the field, how great is it to play with some of the best and to play the sport at the best level that there is," Crabbe said.

You can even find Crabbe's name in the National Soccer Hall of Fame. All of that from the once little girl raised by a single mom. She says her success depended on setting a clear vision for her life. "I set goals for myself and that was a goal, to excel to the utmost in getting past the state level and then the regional level but getting to the national level, I don't if that ever was an achievement that I thought would be."

These days, Crabbe is giving back to the Wilmington community, working with the Cape Fear Soccer Club's Outreach Program. She spent the day teaching basic skills to sixth graders at DC Virgo Preparatory Academy. "It offers togetherness and unity. We work with special needs kids so we don't exclude anyone," Crabbe said.

The soccer star hopes to not only help mold young athletes but to also teach them what it means to strive for greatness. "It's not just in soccer. I tell them if you put 100 percent into your schoolwork, you're going to get 100 percent out."

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