November/December 2020 - 22

not going to be deterred, " Tilton said. " He's always been
exceptionally coachable. ... He was always willing to take
the best of the situation and really apply that to his own
game or whatever he was doing at that given time. "
Robinson's desire to get better as a player bordered
on obsessive. Following his season with Phillips Exeter,
Robinson started to eye a practice shooting record of
the number of 3-pointers in five minutes set by formerMichigan
sharpshooter Nik Stauskas. Robinson and
some of his teammates spent countless hours in the gym,
recording themselves as they tried to set a new mark.
" That became an obsession of his, " Tilton said. " That's
all they did. Saturday night those guys are in the gym
constantly trying to beat the record and funny enough
Duncan shattered it when he got to Michigan. He has
spent tons and tons of time perfecting his craft. He's
always done that. "
Throughout his career, Robinson's pathway to the
NBA has been one of self-generated momentum as he has
made the most of opportunities. Prior to his freshman
year of college, he was able to show off his now more
developed skillset on the court and his high-character
traits off it at an all-star camp at Brandeis University,
catching the attention of his future head coach.
" It was love at first sight if you will, " said former
Williams head coach Mike Maker. " It took me just a
few minutes to basically nickname him baby (Mike)
Dunleavy at that time. I thought he had an extremely
high basketball IQ, he had length, premium skills, he
was a great teammate and obviously shot it at a really
high clip. Truthfully, I thought he was just a complete
basketball player. "
Williams College (Williamstown, MA) was the
next logical step on the journey for Duncan, not only
academically, but on the court as well being a consistent
power in the NESCAC - the Duke of Division III,
according to coach Maker. During his first and only season
there, the Ephs made a run to the NCAA Championship,
led by Robinson who earned All-American status as a
freshman after posting 17.1 points per game and 6.5
rebounds per game.
But even when he is not the star on the team,
winning has seemed to follow Robinson so far in his
young basketball career. Robinson appeared in NCAA
Championships in Division I and Division III with
Michigan and Williams respectively and has now done so
in the NBA as well. It is starting to get harder to dismiss
it as purely coincidence.
" Everywhere he goes the programs have been
championship caliber. You have to start to wonder after
a while why is that? What's the common denominator?
He has the ability to lift programs, clearly, there are
other factors involved, but you can't ignore the fact that
wherever he goes that success follows, " Tilton said.
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November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November/December 2020

November/December 2020 - 1
November/December 2020 - 2
November/December 2020 - 3
November/December 2020 - 4
November/December 2020 - 5
November/December 2020 - 6
November/December 2020 - 7
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