Rothbart's Journey Started In Yugoslavia
Robert Rothbart has adjusted well to his surroundings. He's averaging 28 points a game and says he's good for 16 boards a contest. Basketball has to be pretty easy for a young man who had to leave his home country of Yugoslavia a few years ago.
"I came to America when I was 8," Rothbart said. "There was a war so we had to run from the war." Rothbart came to the United States with his mother, father and brother.
"I go back a lot actually, just about every summer. For a while I was playing for junior national team over there." Rothbart is seeking citizenship in this country and presently holds citizenship in Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Israel. While he's returned to Bosnia often, he feels it's time to stay put this summer and work on his game.
"I've pretty much decided that I don't think I'm going to anymore. I want to focus on my basketball here and every summer I go over there to train and practice with them but it takes so much out of me mentally. You go over there and it drains you. I went there before Nike Camp and I was out of energy."
Rothbart feels like he's really advanced his game a lot since the summer when he played with the Bay Area Ballers. "I'm playing really good defense now. For the first time, I can say that I really have a defense in my game. In the summer, I wasn't playing defense at all. Now, I'm hustling and sliding and blocking everything that comes in the paint."
He weighs just 195 but the goal is to try and get to 210 by July. That might be tough for a guy who admittedly never really had to watch what he ate but yet hasn't put on the pounds. Rothbart is hoping it just comes naturally.
Former Bay Area Baller Senque Carey injured his spinal cord early this season and Rothbart recently paid him a visit. "I went to see him the other day. They put a disc in his neck and he just got out of the hospital. They tell you to take charges and you do it and then something like that happens."