- National Teams
By Michael Botsford | @zomgitsmkb
Hoopsfix caught up with Team GB’s own Justin Robinson, who is in the middle of an impressive season at Rider University. As the Senior in the team, and playing at the point, he has witnessed the pressure and dependence on him increase this year, but is taking it all in his stride, averaging a team high 15.6 points per game and 4.5 assists per outing, including a career high 28 against Southern California, whilst shooting the ball at an impressive 45% accuracy on the season.
“This year I am one of the main guys on the team and am seen as the leader out there, so I am embracing it and just trying to take this team to the NCAA tournament” he told Hoopsfix, “I think the summer with Team GB definitely helped just as it did the year before. It made me look at things more from a professional standpoint; something the older guys on Team GB did.”
On the topic of Team GB, last summer saw Robinson have to adapt to a new role as the coaches wanted him to play the two instead of his usual point guard spot. He explained “At Rider I have played the point mostly while playing the two guard a little as well… but in Team GB I actually didn’t play the point, the coaches believed I was more of a scorer and better off the ball. So my only competition really was Nate Reinking, and he’s a guy that I have learnt so much from this summer, not only how good he is but his approach to the game. So I just have to keep learning and getting better.”
While he might be one of the senior members of the team at Rider, he is one of the younger players for Team GB, and is eager to learn from the more established guys like Luol Deng and Pops Mensah Bonsu. “It helps playing with professional guys as they can teach you a lot about the game and in life in general as they have seen it and been through it all. I just try to take things away that will help me.”
And as Robinson’s college career comes into it’s final stanza, he discussed his motivations; “the love for the game, and the fact I want to have the best senior year here at Rider that I’m capable of, individually and as a team. Also, the fact that I’ve realised that one day maybe I can make some money [from basketball] to take care of my loved ones.”
But of course, right now the main motivation for any player representing Great Britain in any sport, is the 2012 Olympics in London. It will be especially significant for Robinson, who says Brixton will always be a part of him and with his family there is where it all started for him. Discussing 2012, he told Hoopsfix: “It is a huge priority. It would be a dream come true and would feel great to play in front of family and friends and be watched by people across the world.”
Robinson’s humble approach regarding the future of his career is very endearing, especially compared to the exaggerated egos of many sportsmen. When asked if he would be representing Team GB in 2012 as an NBA player, he responded: “Well I don’t know… whatever God has in store for me shall be, that would be my dream though.”
If Robinson can maintain the high level he’s playing at, the braided Brixton baller could have a very bright future ahead of him and make dreams become reality.