It was a normal day, Will Robinson Jr. was at home relaxing, when all of a sudden the phone rang.
It was a coach who had heard about him from a pickup game he had played weeks earlier. Robinson had just left Mcneese State, where he played the 2018-2019 season, and he was looking for places to transfer.
That coach was Slippery Rock men’s basketball head coach Ian Grady, and he had taken a real interest in Robinson and wanted him to come play for the Rock.
“The person who I talked to after I played pickup told me, ‘If you need help or anything like getting into school or whatever I can help you,’ and my phone had been blowing up and I didn’t think I’d need help, so when he called and told me about the school I was like ‘Where? Like what?,’” Robinson said. “And I just gave it a chance and coach showed they believed in me the whole time, and they just kept pushing and pushing, I figured if anyone wants me this bad then maybe that’s the place I need to be.”
Coming out of high school, Robinson was a highly sought after prospect. The path to getting recruited however, was not an easy one for Robinson. Robinson played for four different high schools in four years. Ultimately he would lead his final high school to a state championship, while also receiving first team-all conference honors and was named district player of the year.
“Winning [those honors] was surreal and we won a state championship that year too, so it truly was a surreal moment and I was really happy for myself,” Robinson said.
After his senior year, Robinson got looks from schools like Maryland, Temple, and Depaul. Due to academic reasons though, Robinson had to take the junior college route.
Although Robinson had gotten all sorts attention from Division I and Division II colleges, the only juco offer he received was from Gulf Coast State. At Gulf Coast State College, Robinson averaged 19.4 points and 5.4 rebounds and also earned FCSAA/NJCAA Region 8 All-State and All-Panhandle conference honors.
After playing for Gulf Coast State College for two years, Robinson decided to make the jump to Division I basketball. In the end it came down to two colleges, Mcneese State and Coastal Carolina.
“Coastal Carolina was my number two, I was maybe an hour away from telling the coaches there that I was going to verbally commit, and then I talked to my parents and they didn’t really push me that way, but I knew the coaches and everything at Coastal Carolina and they said maybe you should go away from people you knew back home,” Robinson said.
After the conversation with his parents, he decided to go to Mcneese State, but the only reason he even considered it in the first place was because he knew a good friend who was going to play there. At Mcneese State, Robinson started the first two games of the season and played over 30 minutes in both games, but saw his minutes cut and only started one more game that season.
“After the season I was going to stay, I had a good relationship with some of the players over there, and then I had a sit down with the coach; he told me he thought I was a good player, but he didn’t think he could fulfill the promises he made to me going into that season,” said Robinson.
“Once we had that sit down I let him know I plan on trying my best to be a pro at some point and if I’m playing six or seven minutes a game that’s probably not going to happen and let him know I was going to transfer,” said Robinson.
Fast forward to now, Robinson has already had two big games and received PSAC west athlete of the week honors in his first week playing for the Rock. In the first two games of the season, Robinson posted back-to-back double-doubles and averaged 31.5 points. Robinson was the highlight of the loss against Fairmont State putting up 38 points and 12 rebounds.
The Rock will soon return redshirt senior Micah Till, who has been out due to eligibility issues and Robinson looks forward to taking the court with him.
“I can’t wait for him to come back, he’s going to be a crazy addition to this team. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does, he’s been in the gym getting back shape, so you know I’m excited,” Robinson said.
Both Robinson and Till are Maryland natives but before coming to the Rock, Robinson hadn’t heard of Till. When Robinson announced that he was coming to play for the Rock, he had friends in the basketball world reach out and tell him that Till played here, but it wasn’t until he came here that he knew who he was. Now Robinson and Till live together, and very soon will be on the court together for the Rock.
Robinson hopes to position himself for a chance to play pro, but also wants the team to be number one come the end of the season.
“I’m just another piece to the puzzle, I’m just trying to make sure everyone stays together, as far as the team I feel like we’re going to be at the top when it’s all said and done, at least that’s the plan anyways. We know we’ve got a long way to go, so we’re just trying to work hard and do what we need to do to be at the top at the end,” Robinson said.