VERSAILLES – Louisville, Kentucky native Kim (Kimberly) Byron Custenborder, owner of a high school state championship and a college basketball Hall of Famer adds a wealth of experience to the Versailles Lady Tigers basketball program.
A graduate of Mercy Academy, Custenborder was a four year starting catcher on the all-girls high school softball team, a team that included a Kentucky High School State Championship and was a three year starter on the schools girls basketball team, a team that made it to regionals several times.
A post player and four year starter on the Thomas More College Lady Saints basketball team, Custenborder, a 1992 college graduate was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2010.
“I loved playing inside,” said Custenborder. “Loved battling inside and playing hard.”
In her four year college career (1988-1992) Custenborder still stands alone at the top as the school’s all-time top rebounder with 917 career boards and holds the single season record of 285 while scoring 1,134 career points at Thomas More.
Playing in the paint did not mean Custenborder was not exceptional at the free throw line as she was ranked in the top 15 DIII college players her sophomore year at the charity stripe.
Custenborder’s parents, Lou and Betty Byron were her biggest supporters in high school and college and now follow and support Kim and Pat’s two children; Kelsey and Connor, both basketball players for Versailles while making many trips from their home in Louisville, KY to Versailles.
With Thomas Moore located in northern Kentucky, it was a 90 minute drive one way for Lou and Betty to follow Kim’s college career.
“In four years my mom missed one game and my dad missed one game,” Custenborder noted.
While making their many trips to Thomas Moore, Lou Byron was second in command with the Jefferson County (Louisville, KY) Sheriff’s Department and Betty Byron was a logistics coordinator for the Board of Elections.
Kim met her husband Pat Custenborder, a 1987 Versailles graduate, now VP of Phelan Insurance Agency in Versailles while attending Thomas More were Pat played on the Thomas More baseball team.
“I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support that I get from him at home, taking care of the kids, running them here and running them there,” said Kim. “There is no way I could do what I do without him.”
Custenborder’s coaching duties as the Versailles Lady Tigers’ junior varsity coach are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to coaching kids.
Daughter Kelsey, a sophomore is a starter on the JV basketball team and dresses with the Lady Tigers varsity team while son Connor, a senior starts for the boys varsity basketball team.
“I have been coaching both of my kids here at Versailles for about 14 years so both of my kids have been in the gym with me all the time,” said Custenborder. “I coached Kelsie’s AAU teams in the summer. I was able to do that but once she got into the high school program I was no longer able to coach her in the summer.”
“I coached Connor and a group of boys with my husband in the summer with an AAU team,” Custenborder said. “We had had a ball. I loved coaching the boys.”
Coach Custenborder is pleased to be the Lady Tigers JV coach under the direction of head coach Jacki Stonebraker and has no desire to become a head coach at another school.
“I like to just work with Jacki,” stated Custenborder. “We have been a great team. I have learned a lot from her. I’ve learned a lot of x’s and o’s from her. I do a lot of the mental work with the kids so the two of us together make a real good team as well as surrounding ourselves with other great assistant coaches that we have had through the years.”
Coach Stonebraker just recently got her 250th career varsity coaching win and gave much of the credit to her assistant coaches.
“I am just very fortunate to be able to coach under her,” said Custenborder. “There is nobody that I know that knows their x’s and o’s like she does. Jacki is a wonderful person. She cares for the kids on and off the court…both of us do.”
“We really want to teach them a lot of life lessons and that’s what Jacki is very good at,” stated Custenborder. “The two of us together want to teach the kids it’s not all about what happens on the court…it’s about what happens on and off the court. We want them to be good leaders, we want them to be coachable, we want them to follow training rules and then take those skills that they are learning with us right now and take those into the real life.”
Coach Kim Custenborder owns Prosperity Promotions, a full service add specialty-company that provides screen print, embroidery and promotional products to advertise businesses, organizations and group fundraisers and does not receive payment for coaching the Lady Tigers JV basketball team.
“I’ve worked in non-profit most of my entire life,” said Custenborder. “My family owns this business in Louisville. My dad started it 26 years ago and I opened it up here in Versailles about three years ago. I love helping people raise money. A lot of what I do is fundraising but most of what I do is sell to businesses, products for their marketing efforts as well as gifts and incentives for their employees.
Custenborder just recently opened a business office on Warren Street in Versailles. ww.prosperitypromocom
PHOTO CAPTION: Versailles Lady Tigers Junior Varsity Coach Kim Custenborder (Gaylen Blosser photo)