Interview with Frank Robinson | Shooters Revolution | On summer training and what’s next
Interview with Frank Robinson | Shooters Revolution | On Kobe Bryant, Shooters Rev, and #The25thHour
Frank Robinson’s journey to becoming a pro-basketball player hasn’t been easy. It isn’t easy for anyone, but Robinson’s path took a slightly more circuitous route than most others’.
Robinson, after transferring from East Carolina, played three years at Cal State Fullerton, averaging 15.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.2 steals during his senior season. Fullerton made the NCAA tourney that year, losing in the first round to Wisconsin. Before going on to hoop overseas, Robinson played briefly for the Atlanta Hawks. He also spent some time with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League. Robinson’s passport has gotten its fair share of tattoos as he has played all over internationally including Germany, Slovenia, China, Poland, Ukraine, and Israel.
Fresh off his Drew League 2013 MVP though, Frank now has the responsibility of carrying the King of LA moniker wherever he suits up to play.
While the Drew League has been gaining popularity over the last few years, no one expected last Tuesday’s (Aug. 21) Drew League championship game to get this sort of publicity. It’s understandably tough to keep things quiet when Kobe Bryant not only shows up to watch, but is also impressed by the talent on the floor.
Frank’s squad, Hank’s Blazers, didn’t boast too many recognizable names for the average fan. Whereas other teams were filled with NBA players, Hank’s Blazers had a starting five of Ryan Hollins, Frank Robinson, Malcolm Thomas, Kyle Gibson, and Horace Wormely.
The soon-to-be champs had to go through a field of pro-level talent to make it to the final game in the tournament. Ironically, one of those opponents was Bobby Brown of LAUNFD, Frank’s former college PG and one of the best scorers in international basketball right now. In our interview, Frank noted that playing against and in front of great players wasn’t too big a deal, given that he “had played with great players throughout his whole career, guys like Bobby Brown and Josh Akognon.”
No. 8 seed Hank’s Blazers vs the Kings of LA (led by Dorrel Wright and Amir Johnson). The stage was set and Frank took full advantage of the spotlight, putting up 28 points and 5 assists, including the game-clinching three-pointer from the right wing with 30 seconds left.
With both the Drew League championship trophy and MVP award in hand, Robinson is ready for the next portion of his career. He reminded us that his nickname before the summer was Cali Frank, mostly because of how well connected he was with ball players in the state. Reggie Jackson of the OKC Thunder, who showed up to train at the LA Mission College gym, made sure we knew that Robinson was now the king of L.A.
“For how long?” – Frank Robinson
“Until next summer [Drew League 2014].” – Reggie Jackson
Frank Robinson, Rohit Ghosh [Shooters Revolution rep conducting interview], Reggie JacksonKobe Bryant
To top off the magical performance, Kobe was impressed with Frank’s confident finish to the game.
The fourth quarter got a little crazy, but I demanded the ball in the last two minutes and ended up scoring nine of my 28 points to finish the game — including a walk off three right in front of one of my favorite players, Kobe Bryant. I looked over my shoulder and saw that he was giving me the ‘monkey nuts’ gesture, which all players know that is the stamp of approval! – Robinson, after the game
On Kobe Bryant’s Reaction
Come on, that’s the greatest player ever, one of the greatest players ever to play the game. To catch his eye, to have him comment or make gestures or whatever, just about something that I’ve done, of course you know, you like that [...] It’s an honor to have Kobe Bryant say something like that. I appreciate it.
It doesn’t affect how I train. It’s just something that I will grow from. It just gives you that confidence going into next season.
Frank has spent the last few months working on his shot, specifically his rhythm with ex-Laker and shooting coach Mike Penberthy. As he mentioned in our interview, the confidence he has in his own shot is exponentially greater now than it was before.
On right-wing game clinching three
A year ago, I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to shoot it.That goes into the hours that I’ve put in, you know this summer. I’ve put in a lot of time, and this year, more than anything, it was more about being smart about how I train. Not over doing it or going super hard, it was about what am I working on, what am I perfecting, and how translates to the court.
Robinson, originally from Sylmar in the San Fernando Valley, found a home away from home playing a couple years back playing for Maccabi in Israel. Robinson won the defensive player of the year award in 2010-2011 playing under Maccabi Haifa.
On favorite place to play
I tell everyone, my favorite place was Maccabi Haifa, which is in Israel. Just the culture there, it reminds me a little of the valley. I’m from the San Fernando Valley, so anywhere close to home [...] it’s good.
Summer ended for Robinson the day after our interview, as he got in some time with the family and then flew off to Italy. Italian basketball champs Siena personally invited Robinson to their camp. Robinson mentioned it’s “not really a try out for the team,” but an opportunity to continue getting more exposure. He has offers from international clubs at the moment, but will wait a few more weeks to make his decision on where to play.
I usually don’t sign with my teams until about September 15th to 30th. It gives me time to at least go there [Italy], let their team see me, and you never know what happens at that point.
Shooters Rev @ Frank Robinson Skills Academy
The annual Frank Robinson Skills Academy, held this past June and July at Chatsworth High School, had a different feel to it this year. A more technological feel.
Shooters Revolution brought by the EVO ONE basketball, a revolutionary piece of equipment that’s ready to improve the game of basketball for players of all ages. The ball, equipped with sensors and a gyroscope, indicates to the player whether or not the ball was shot properly with the optimal rotation. Simply put, it’s a coach in a ball. Just activate to train, remove to hoop.
I’ve actually played with the ball. They brought the ball in [to Frank Robinson Skills Academy], and let the kids shoot with it and stuff like that. It’s a great idea. I think when you talk about form shooting and rotational spin, that’s something a lot of kids don’t grasp, don’t understand. To get that at a certain age, to understand how to have the right form and right rotation on your shot, that’s something that’ll help shooter percentages all the way through high school, college, and pros.
Who can the ball help?
I think what it does is it helps them to understand. When you shoot the ball and you don’t hear the beep, it’s telling you that you’re not shooting it with the right rotation. I think it’ll still help anybody. Even a pro, there’s guys that don’t change their shot until they’re 28, 29 years old. They might lose athleticism and become spot-up shooters. Anyone trying to become a better shooter, I think it [EVO ONE] will help.
The 25th hour is that extra hour. It’s the hour that you don’t even know happened. For instance, I finished a workout . I started at 12, was going to go 12-1:30. I look up, and it’s already 2:45. That’s that extra hour, that 25th hour. Just getting lost in the gym. If everybody had that mindset, we’d have a lot of great players.
I think what they’re trying to do with the 25th hour, it’s something that a lot of people can tune in to. And hopefully our next generation catches on and can be great at whatever they’re trying to do.