2007 Intro: Justin Robinson

The third time was the charm for Justin Robinson. After brief stints at Notre Dame Academy and South Kent didn't work out, the junior floor leader is excelling at Blair Academy.

He's watched as one-by-one his countrymen have received exposure. First it was Loul Deng, then Eric Boateng. More recently, it's been Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Ben Eaves.

Now it's Justin Robinson's turn.

Robinson's adjustment has been far from smooth since arriving in the United States from England more than a year ago.

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound junior point guard landed at Notre Dame Academy (Va.), where the facilities and conditions weren't what he was looking for. He transferred to a loaded South Kent (Conn.) program midway through last season and was frustrated when he played sparingly.

Then, when he was home this past summer, he ran into Deng, who advised Robinson to give Blair Academy (N.J.) a look. Deng starred alongside Charlie Villanueva at Blair a few years back.

``If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me," Robinson said.

Blair coach Joe Mantegna couldn't be happier.

``He's our difference-maker," Mantegna said. "We've never had a guard like that. Never had someone who can dominate defensively like Justin can. He gets into the lane whenever he wants."

Mantegna cautions that Robinson still has a ways to go.

``He's still a work in progress," he said. "But he's got the mindset of a champion."

In the first two games, Robinson had 13 assists and just one turnover.

Robinson, 18, is a standout in the classroom and that's one of the things he really likes at Blair. Academics are stressed heavily.

``This is the first time since I've been in America that I've been playing," Robinson said. "I can really see the results. I feel like I'm needed. Finally."

Robinson's athleticism allows him to break down defenses and he can also create easy baskets for his teammates. He's at his best in the open court and the one area he'll need to continue to improve is the consistency on his long-range shooting.

Robinson's recruitment is still in the early stages, but Duke assistant Chris Collins, at the advise of Deng, took a trip north to evaluate Robinson. Villanova, Boston College and Penn State have also expressed interest.

``Even if Duke offered me a scholarship and wanted me, I'd have to think long and hard about it," Robinson said. "Just because Loul went there and Eric goes there doesn't mean it's necessary the right place for me. I have to weigh my options, see which coaching staff I like and see which system fits me."

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