Thomas Robinson, who grew up in Washington, D.C., but elected to play his final year of high school basketball in New Hampshire, concluded his prep career back in his hometown Saturday night.
“It was fun. My family finally got to see me play. There were probably 20 to 30 (friends and family) there,” said Robinson, a future Kansas University power forward.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pounder scored 14 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished four assists and blocked two shots in Team Finish’s 134-131 victory over Team Create in the Reebok All-American Game at American University’s Bender Arena.
“I thought I had an all-around game,” said Robinson, who played his junior year at Riverdale Baptist in Upper Marlboro, Md., then moved on to Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., this past school year.
“I knew most of my teammates. I connected with them. It was easy for me to pass and have them finish. The other team’s bigs weren’t as athletic.”
Reebok’s Chris Rivers was impressed with Robinson’s effort, noting he was third in MVP voting.
“He scored on power plays around the basket, mid-range jumpers and putbacks. He looked fantastic,” Rivers stated via e-mail.
Future KU guard Elijah Johnson scored two points while also playing for the winning team.
“He was not feeling well, so he was not on the floor,” Rivers said, noting Johnson sat out the entire second half.
“He (Johnson) said he was kind of dizzy before the game,” Robinson said. “He tried to play. Running up and down, he couldn’t focus. He just was not feeling well. He was disappointed he couldn’t play.”
Robinson roomed with his future KU teammate during days leading up to the Reebok game.
“He’s a cool guy, down to earth, competitive. He also wants to win,” Robinson said of Johnson.
Future Kansas State player Rodney McGruder, a 6-4 guard from Arlington Country Day High in Jacksonville, Fla., who like Robinson grew up in the D.C. area, scored 24 points with seven rebounds and was named co-MVP with future Pittsburgh player Dante Taylor, who had 26 points and nine boards.
“We joked about our freshman year,” Robinson said of him and McGruder. “We’re very competitive. Neither of us wants to lose next year.”