David Robinson is an American former professional basketball player, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for his entire career. Based on his prior service as an officer in the United States Navy, Robinson earned the nickname “The Admiral”.
Robinson is a 10-time NBA All-Star, the 1995 NBA MVP, a two-time NBA champion (since 1999 and 2003), a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner (1992, 1996). Similarly, a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (2009 for his individual career. Likewise, 2010 as a member of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team), and a two-time U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame inductee (2008 individually, 2009 as a member of the 1992 Olympic team). He is widely considered one of the greatest centers in both college basketball and NBA history. To date, Robinson is the only player from the Naval Academy to play in the NBA.
David Robinson was born in Key West, Florida, the second child of Ambrose and Freda Robinson. Since Robinson’s father was in the U.S. Navy, the family moved frequently. After his father retired from the Navy, the family settled in Woodbridge, Virginia, where Robinson excelled in school and in most sports, except basketball. Robinson attended Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., where Robinson’s father was working as an engineer.
Robinson was of average height for most of his childhood and teenage years, and stood only 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) tall in his junior year of high school (age 16–17). But during his senior year he experienced a large growth spurt and grew to 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m). He had not played organized basketball or attended any basketball camps. But the school’s basketball coach added him to the team. And Robinson earned all-area and all-district honors but generated little interest among college basketball coaches.
Robinson is widely considered to be the best basketball player in Naval Academy history. Moreover, he chose the jersey number 50 after his idol Ralph Sampson. He began college with no expectations of playing in the NBA. But in Robinson’s final two years he was a consensus All-American and won college basketball’s two most prestigious player awards, the Naismith and Wooden Awards, as a Naval Academy first classman (senior).
Later, in 1986, Robinson led Navy, a number seven seed, within a game of the Final Four before falling to Duke in the East Regional Final. Robinson played his first three years for the Midshipmen under Paul Evans (who left Navy to coach at Pitt) and his senior season under former University of Georgia interim Head Coach Pete Herrmann. Upon graduation, he became eligible for the 1987 NBA draft and was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the first overall pick; however, the Spurs had to wait two years because he had to fulfill his active-duty obligation with the Navy.
Since he had not signed a contract, NBA regulations stated that Robinson could have reentered the draft after his naval service. Although there was speculation that he might choose not to sign with the Spurs, Robinson agreed to move to San Antonio for the 1989–90 season, but the Spurs agreed to pay him as much as the average of the salaries of the two highest-paid players in the league each year, or release him to free agency.
The Spurs had spent the second half of the 1980s as an also-ran, bottoming out in 1988–89 with a 21–61 record, the worst in franchise history at the time. While it was widely thought that the Spurs would become respectable again once Robinson arrived, no one expected what happened in his rookie season.
Robinson led the Spurs to the greatest single season turnaround in NBA history at the time (a record the Spurs themselves broke in 1997–98, after drafting Tim Duncan, which was then broken by the Boston Celtics in the 2007–08 NBA season). The Spurs leaped to a record of 56–26 for a remarkable 35 game improvement.
Robinson averaged 21.1 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, 3 blocks per game. Further, 2.5 assists per game over 987 games in his NBA career. Also, he is one of only a very small group of players to have scored over 20,000 career points in the NBA. As well as being one of only four players to have recorded a quadruple-double. And (with 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 blocks against the Detroit Pistons on February 17, 1994).
He is also one of only six players to record 70 or more points in a single game. Robinson scored 71 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 24, 1994. Only Elgin Baylor (71 points), Wilt Chamberlain (70, 72, 73 twice, 78, 100 points). Moreover, David Thompson (73 points), Devin Booker (70 points), and Kobe Bryant (81 points) have scored 70 or more points in a single game.
Robinson is also noteworthy for his harmonious relationship with Tim Duncan. Sportswriter Chris Sheridan noted that it was rare for someone like Robinson to have welcomed and mentored Duncan as willingly as he did and to have reduced his own role in the team’s offense to accommodate a younger star.
National team career
David Robinson was a member of the United States national team at the 1986 FIBA World Championship, the 1987 Pan American Games, the 1988 Summer Olympics. Similarly, 1992 Summer Olympics, and the 1996 Summer Olympics. He won the gold medal at all games except the 1987 Pan Am Games. There he won a silver medal, and the 1988 Summer Olympics, where he won a bronze medal.
Robinson tied a knot to Valerie Hoggatt since 1991. They have three sons, David Jr., Corey, and Justin. Corey attended Notre Dame and was a wide receiver on the football team before ending his playing career in 2016. Similarly, that was on medical advice due to multiple concussions prior to what would have been his senior season.
He was very active on campus in his final undergraduate year. Likewise, having been elected student body president in February 2016 for the 2016–17 school year. Justin, a 6’8″ (2.03 m) forward in basketball. And a two-time all-state selection in Texas, has attended Duke since August 2015.
- Full Name: David Maurice Robinson
- Date of Birth: August 6, 1965
- Age: 54
- Birth Place: Key West, Florida
- Nationality: American
- Listed height: 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)
- Listed weight: 235 lb (107 kg)
- High school: Osbourn Park (Manassas, Virginia)
- College: Navy (since 1983–1987)
- NBA draft: since 1987 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
- Selected by the San Antonio Spurs
- Playing career: since 1989–2003
- Position: Center
- Number: 50
- Career end: since 2003
- Spouse: Valerie Robinson (m since 1991)
- Education: University of the Incarnate Word (since 2011), United States Naval Academy (1983–1987), Osbourn Park High School (1983)
- Children: Justin Robinson, Corey Robinson, David Robinson, Jr.
- Net Worth: $200 Million dollars
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