Basketball is an art form that players use to express themselves. Maybe the dunk he made released some frustration that he had from having a bad day. Perhaps that yell he let out after that 3-point play was a simple vengeance after hearing some news before the game that he didn’t want to hear. The game of basketball serves a bigger purpose than just entertainment. It eloquently allows its players to escape their reality and aids in being a positive outlet that is productive in every way. Putting that orange ball through the hoop in the best way you know how can help you get through a bad day, maybe even a bad week. In Thomas Robinson’s case, basketball helped him get through a horrific 25 days. Here’s his tragic basketball love story.
In 2012, Robinson was the 5th Overall Pick in the Draft, but it wasn’t a breeze for him to get in this position. In his freshman year at Kansas, there was only a hint of his game revealed in representing the team, averaging just 2.5 points per game. The fact that he was one of the most sought out players in high school made this journey seem lengthier than it should have, but he started to make an impression in his sophomore year. Although his jumper wasn’t top notch, he was a Grade A rebounder for the Kansas squad. After finally trying to find his place in the college basketball world, everything came crashing down. In January 2011, he was struck with the reality of losing his grandmother, grandfather, and mother in a span of 25 days.
Can you imagine having anxiety so bad that you don’t want to pick up the phone in fear that it’s only bad news? In these few merciless days he had to endure, this was all Thomas Robinson received. Attending three funerals in such a short amount of time to people who you hold so dear is absolutely dreadful. The emotional pain he was trying to overcome was much greater than any physical pain a basketball workout would ever give him. All of the Kansas staff attended his mother’s funeral and supported their fellow teammate; but, if you can only imagine, the question remaining in Robinson’s head was, “What can I possibly do now?” Although broken in spirit, his game of resurgence came and he scored 17 points. As time progressed, he proved that he was one of college’s elite players and, after being defeated by Kentucky, was ready to take on the NBA game.
T-Rob’s little sister is basically all the family he has left, besides the people who are not related by blood that he calls kin. In his life, he has taken on roles in different aspects that have required him to prove his manhood. Whether it is in the game or in his natural existence, he has proven that no matter what the stakes are, he will indeed persevere. In college, he played with tenacity and established his name. In living as a regular human being, he has secured his little sister with guaranteed shelter that she needs to grow up with, physically and emotionally. So, what’s left? Since his rookie year, Robinson has been on three evolving teams and has not gotten his chance to authenticate his manhood as he has in his college career, as well as his life’s circumstances. Still, the fact remains that the heart of this kid is made of an unbreakable mold and he has all the power in the world to accomplish everything and more. There is no doubt that T-Rob will find his way in this business. With all the sweat he leaves on the floor of the gym and then coming home to help his sister with her homework, it is clear that Thomas Robinson is a force in real life and can be in the realms of the NBA.
Basketball is as much mental as it is physical and, when you go through something as grueling as Thomas Robinson has, emotional and physical stability is key. This game is more than a ball going through a hoop. It’s more than wearing your favorite team’s jersey. It’s bigger than me even writing this for you to read. It’s an outlet and source of relief for those who love it, whether you’re playing it or on your couch watching it in the comfort of your own home. Let Thomas Robison be our reminder that basketball is not just a sport. It’s a healer, protector, and it gives a satisfaction that is healthy for the soul.