At 6ft 5in tall, Brandon Robinson aka B. Rob, a junior at UNC Chapel Hill, proudly rocks the #4 each time he steps on the court as a guard for the Carolina Tarheels. Despite the obvious notoriety that comes with being a player for one of the most popular college basketball teams in the country, Brandon Robinson is humble and grounded.
On the second Monday in Black History Month Brandon Robinson is my Man POWER Monday pick because he has “academic and b-ball” swag.
In 2016, Brandon left his family in Georgia and excitedly became a Carolina Tarheel. Despite the fact that he had numerous options available to him, B. Rob says he chose UNC Chapel Hill because he knew he would get a great education while having the opportunity to play on one of the most popular college basketball teams in our country.
With no athletic ability of my own, I have always turned a blind eye to the life of athletes. Having the opportunity to meet and talk to this young man gave me a newfound respect for what it means to be an athlete. Not only are they required to be disciplined at a young age, they must have the ability to move forward and excel in the face of a great deal of public scrutiny. Brandon says he has learned, in order to not be affected by the naysayers, he has to shut out the outside noise and avoid a lot of the media coverage they receive.
Brandon is also fortunate to have parents that absolutely adore him and remind him that he is loved no matter what. While his father never sugar coats anything, Brandon says he has always been able to count on his father to be there for him. And his mother does like moms can only do, she reminds her son of who he was before he became B. Rob, #4 on the Carolina Tarheels basketball team.
Tonight many of us will tune in at 7pm as the Carolina Tarheels take on the Virginia Cavaliers in Chapel Hill. So, I was curious what a typical game day looked like for this young man. Here is what he shared:
Prior to beginning classes at 10:10am, he will rise at 8:30am and head to the pool for a workout with the assistant strength and conditioning coach. Following his workout, he will grab a quick breakfast and head to class. Classes for him today run from 10:10am to 2:15pm with a little break in between. Unlike a lot of college students, Brandon will not get to chill and kick it with friends in the Student Union during his break. Instead he will be studying and working on class assignments. At 2:15pm he will dash over to the gym to meet the rest of his teammates for practice. Following practice, the team dines together as they go over their “scouting report” which is essentially their game plan. After dinner the players are given some free time to relax before they hit the court at 6pm to stretch and practice before the 7pm start time.
Contrary to what many believe, Brandon says that the players are held to the same academic standards as the non-athlete students on campus. Even if they weren’t, Brandon’s parents do not play. Despite Brandon’s obvious athletic talent, his parents made it clear, early on, that the only way he would be able to play basketball is by being consistent in his pursuit of academic excellence.
This summer, before returning to begin his senior year, Brandon will be taking a break from the grind at Chapel Hill as he heads to London, England to participate in a study abroad program.
After earning his degree Brandon hopes to play professionally before transitioning into a college coaching career. His ultimate dream…to one day become an NBA general manager.
Interesting facts about Brandon Robinson:
- He graduated from Douglas County High School in Georgia.
- He is majoring in communications with a minor in sociology.
- His favorite video game is…NBA 2K (go figure :-)). My ten year old is dying to take him on! LOL!
- His favorite sneaker right now is the Jordan 4.
- He has a younger brother who is 16 years old.
Brandon’s thoughts on Black History Month:
Black history recognition should not be limited to one month. We must constantly honor, and remember, all of the people that sacrificed so much so that we could advance as a race.
Brandon’s thoughts on the Silent Sam controversy:
As a freshman he walked past Silent Sam on numerous occasions giving its presence very little thought. When he learned the history of Silent Sam, he found himself not offended by the statutes presence but what the statute stood for. The controversy and stress that its presence bought to the campus led to Brandon ultimately deciding that the statute should be removed.
As I watch this young man tonight I will remember how he said he gets chills each time he runs through the tunnel onto the court for game time. To Brandon, it is a great honor to be a part of a team that Michael Jordan once played on as he gets out there and enjoys the sport he has been playing since the age of 5.
Who do you think I should feature on “Man POWER Monday”? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or respond in the comments section with suggestions.