If you watch warmups before Duke basketball games, you’ll see one guy during the shoot around making his way around the court, dapping every player and speaking a word of encouragement or strategy in their ears.
Justin Robinson, son of NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson, is in his 5th year at Duke and is pursuing a Master’s degree at their notable Fuqua Business School. The “Baby Admiral” as his teammates affectionately call him, has always been a favorite in the Blue Devils locker room for his sound advice, vast knowledge of the game and tremendous contribution to the scout team during practice.
Now, all those behind the scene contributions that Coach K and teammates have always raved about, are front and center for all to see.
In two of the last three Blue Devils games, not only has Robinson seen the court, but he’s played valuable minutes. In last week’s overtime loss to Wake Forest, Robinson played 15 minutes – shooting 3-6 from the floor, adding 3 blocks, 2 steals, 2 rebounds and 1 assist. It was a contribution that Coach K said “saved” the team.
In Monday night’s win against NC State, it was Robinson’s back to back 3’s that helped keep the Blue Devils within striking distance during a 1st half when his teammates struggled offensively and the Wolfpack had most of the momentum. His 10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block were critical in a game Duke needed to prevent a 3-game skid.
Wendell Moore Jr. said it best after the game. “When he’s on the floor good things happen.”
How fitting that we’re now able to see in the twilight of his college basketball career, everything his Coach K and his teammates have been trying to tell us the whole time. Don’t sleep on the Baby Admiral.