David Robinson is often regarded as one of the greatest centers to ever play the game of basketball. He was born on August 6, 1965 to Ambrose and Freda Robinson. As a student he excelled in all of his classes, and sports except basketball. By his senior year in high school he stood an incredible 6 feet, 7 inches tall, but had never played organized basketball. However, the basketball coach at his high school noticed Robinson and added him to the team without ever testing him. Robinson soon earned all-area and all-district honors, but not the attention of any college basketball coaches. But this did not matter to him, as basketball was not his first priority. Getting an education and becoming a student in the United States Naval Academy were his main concerns. After scoring a 1320 on the SAT, his goal of joining the Naval Academy was soon accomplished (Lewis, 16).
David Robinson majored in mathematics and excelled in all of his classes at the United States Naval Academy. He was an outstanding all-around athlete and chess player. He was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate fraternity for African-American men. He soon chose to try out for the United States Naval Academy basketball team. By the time he played his first collegiate basketball game, he had grown to 6 ft 9 in, and over the course of his college career he grew to 7 ft 1 in. In David Robinson’s last two years, he was a consensus All-American and won college basketball’s two most prestigious player awards, the Naismith and Wooden Awards (Lewis, 30). By the time he left the academy he was viewed by most as the best basketball player in U.S. Naval Academy history! He holds the record of most blocks in a single season in college basketball with 207 (Basketball.com).
Upon graduation, he became eligible for the 1987 NBA Draft and was selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. But the team had to wait two years before Robinson could play because he had to fulfill two years of Navy duty. He was supposed to do five years of service, but the Navy excused him for three of them because his height prohibited his use in many roles. After his Naval career, many believed Robinson would choose not to sign with the Spurs and to become a free agent. However, he decided to come to San Antonio and join the Spurs for the 1989-90 season, which led the Spurs to the single greatest season turnaround in NBA history at the time (Lewis, 49). The team made it to the NBA playoffs, where they eventually lost to the Portland Trail Blazers. That year, Robinson was named the NBA rookie of the year, and SEGA even produced a videogame featuring him called David Robinson’s Supreme Court.
After the 1989-90 season, David Robinson led the Spurs to the playoffs seven more seasons in a row. However, Robinson’s hopes for a championship never materialized, as they never made it past the Western Conference Finals. But Robinson’s efforts did not go unrecognized. He made the 1992...