To start Justin, I wanted to ask what it meant to you and your dad to see Coach Popovich achieve his 1,000th win?
Justin Robinson: I love it, that’s awesome. I didn’t even know that it was coming up in all honesty, it’s definitely amazing. My dad was also saying how amazing it was for Pop to do that because he always speaks so highly of him. He said this really shows how great he is.
What’s it been like for you being around Pop for so long?
He’s always been like a great family friend, he’s always been around and he’s been really nice to me and my brothers, I love hanging out with Pop. My memories with him a lot are really from being around him at the Spurs games and at the Spurs facilities, just little chats with him here and there, it was really nice.
On a related subject—what was it like for you watching your future coach Coach K win his 1000th game earlier this season?
That was the same type of feeling but it was also a little more personal for me knowing that I’m going to go play for him. I’m really happy that I’m going to be going to play for such a great coach. It’s kinda like, it makes me that much more excited to go to Duke, more than I’ve even been excited before.
That game against St John’s, first off it was a really tough game. Right after they won I was just really ecstatic, I was jumping up and down, lot of celebrating which was fun. We congratulated Coach K when we were there for the recent visit and we actually did send a text message congratulating him when it first happened. He’s Coach K, he was real humble, he didn’t say too much about it. He just basically told me when we were there just how excited he is to have me around next year, that’s just classic Coach K.
How has your school year and basketball season been going?
Oh yeah it’s all going really well. We still have two games left in the season before the playoffs start. The team is doing really well. I think we’re first in the district, it’s going really good.
Let’s switch gears to your Duke visit, what was going through your mind as you made your way to Durham?
Really I was approaching this visit not so much as a recruiting visit because I obviously already knew that I was going there. It was more just like a welcome to the family type trip. I was going up to see my first game in Cameron and it was also a great chance for me to meet all the guys and the coaches.
What was the interaction like with the staff as a family leading into the visit?
I talked a good amount to Coach Scheyer and then to Coach K for a little bit. But with the other coaches I hadn’t really talked with them over the phone or anything, this was the first time I really got a chance to talk with them a lot. After I had committed to them before, they would call and check into me, how my season and school year is going. I would text them about how their season and practices were going too.
What was it like for you being able to spend some face to face time with them on the visit?
It was awesome, it was a surreal weekend really. It felt like I was already attending Duke and that I was home.
What did they have you doing when you first got on campus for your visit?
The first thing I did was go to a practice on Friday. Right after practice, my God, it was great, I talked with all the coaches and the players and kinda had a good chat with all the coaches. Then after that I toured around the school and saw where the freshman are for most of the time with where most of their classes are. Then on game day we went to the game and then I toured the basketball facilities after the game.
What were your observations of the practice?
The first thing that I noticed was the fact that even though it was a walkthrough the day before the game, it was like non-stop and it was awesome. Everyone was involved with something whether it be the coaches or the players or the managers and it was all so fast-paced. So I really enjoyed watching that, it was a good, productive practice. It was mostly game plan type stuff, defense and shooting after that. The coaches would participate and the walk-ons participate and the one transfer student, Sean Obi, he practices against them too. It worked out and there was enough to play. Everybody filled in a role.
What were your thoughts on Sean Obi?
This was my first time meeting him and seeing him play too. He looks like a pretty good player, he’s got a good inside presence. It was a walkthrough mostly, so the defense wasn’t too live. I didn’t get to see him really compete too much inside because of what they were trying to do.
What did you think while watching the coaches coach?
They always had a purpose with what they were saying. It was all really focused and you could tell they knew what they were saying. It was really impressive, I learned things out there which was great because I learned things just watching a walk-through, that’s how much they knew what they were talking about.
Anyone in particular you hit it off with?
Honestly really just everyone. They were all just really nice to me, they all just gave me big hugs and welcomed me to the family. All of them were just extremely nice.
Did you and your family have any particular questions for the coaches when you met with them?
Yeah a little bit, we didn’t have too many though, it was more logistical type questions, stuff like that.
What did the coaches emphasize to you in your times together?
For the most part it was just getting to know them and then we saw the logistical stuff like when I would go up there in the summertime and how long that would be. Then really they just gave me an overview of how the summer and fall would go.
What was your favorite part of the visit?
Oh it was definitely Cameron, for sure. Cameron is amazing, it exceeded my expectations. I was expecting it to be loud in there but it was so much more. It’s so loud in there, the fans are all super loud and loud all the time too. I was super excited for the game because you always hear the stories about how loud it gets and how the Crazies are, so really I was stoked to see it for myself. I met some of them, some of the Crazies came up to me and talked to me a bit which was nice.
As you wrapped up the visit, what do you think were the big take-aways for you?
I guess the main thing that was a pleasant and re-assuring to really see and know was just how much of a family it is there, just how much all the coaches and all the players want to see each other really succeed. That gives me confidence going in there like in the summer knowing that they want me to succeed.
Justin Robinson Recaps Recent Visit
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