The story’s all too familiar: Former top athlete, their body found by a fam member or friend, “no foul play expected.”
We feel like we “know” these folks, bc we watched them closely on TV. Many of them, like Stanley Robinson, we watched grow up, over 4yrs, playing for one of the best programs in the country @uconnmbb as he developed not only as a bball player, but a person.
Robinson was Alabama’s 2006 Mr. Basketball & was also named the state Gatorade Player of the Yr. He was the quintessential “Big Man on Campus.”
In his 4yrs at UConn, he helped carry the team to a Final Four in 2009. It wasn’t all rainbows & butterflies, however. During his time under the legendary coach, Jim Calhoun, he was suspended btwn his sophomore & junior yrs & was asked to worked his way back onto the team by taking a job at a scrap metal company. Robinson & Coach remained close ever after.
Calhoun said there were not many guys he’d have allowed to work out other off the court things, & come back to the team, the way he did w Stanley.
Here’s the part that shakes me. On the passing, Calhoun said: “Stanley was not only an exceptional player for me, but one of the most genuine guys to be arnd. What I loved abt him the most was his personality & childlike smile. He was just a really, really sweet kid. The world was harsh for him, bc they weren’t all like Stanley Robinson. He was such a caring, giving person.”
Clearly, w an endorsement like that & w the tributes from friends who knew him, he was an emotional/empathetic/bIg-hearted guy. He was drafted in the 2nd Rnd to the NBA, but was a final roster cut, & spent the rest of his playing career bouncing arnd the G League & teams overseas. Meanwhile one of his college teammates, Kemba Walker, has had a very solid NBA career.
Why’s it so many ppl we lose, seem to be these empathetic, big-hearted ppl? Why’s it that chasing a big dream (in his case, making the NBA), & not achieving it, causes us to lack identity/purpose & feel down (when there are so many other paths to fulfillment/purpose). Big hearts/big dreams seems to lead to big susceptibility. Let’s be there for each other & TALK!