Jon Lopez/Nike

Brandon Robinson Preparing to Enroll at UNC

Incoming wing knows the key to significant minutes for his freshman season.

There’s been a void in Brandon Robinson’s life over the last three months.

For as long as he can remember, the weather turning warm outside meant basketball season heating up inside. There was a natural flow to the calendar year, high school ball in the fall and winter, AAU games in the spring and summer.

As a graduating senior, however, there were no AAU games and no team camps this spring.

“It’s been so weird because I’m so used to traveling with AAU,” said Robinson, a 6-5 wing from Douglasville (Ga.) High School. “I was lost without it… just not knowing what to do. It felt weird being home.”

That changes in just a few days, as Robinson will enroll at UNC and move into a suite with fellow freshmen Tony Bradley, Shea Rush and Seventh Woods.

“Traveling to different places, seeing different things, getting a chance to play at different places is probably what I’m most excited about,” he said. “To be there in the Dean Dome in front of all the fans, it’s going to be a totally different experience and I can’t wait.”

Last month, Robinson graduated and received his high school diploma.

“It was one of the best days of my life,” he recalled. “It was funny because other people were crying and emotional. I was just smiling. My family came down and saw me walk across the stage. It felt good to accomplish something.”

During his time away from basketball, Robinson attended a couple of AAU tournaments in the Atlanta area. One of the players he got to see was his future UNC teammate, Rechon “Leaky” Black, a class of 2018 Tar Heel commitment. 

“He’s a good player and has a very high basketball IQ,” Robinson said. “He’s a tall guard and he knows how to get teammates involved, he’ll look for others first and then he knows how to get them the ball where they want it. I’m looking forward to playing with him.”

With the return of juniors Theo Pinson and Justin Jackson, as well as sophomore Kenny Williams, the Tar Heels won’t likely need Robinson to step in and play a leading role his first year in Chapel Hill. However, he’s still preparing as if UNC will need him to play extended minutes at some point in the 2016-17 season.

“I’ve been doing a lot of strength stuff and working out every day,” explained Robinson. “When the season first ended I was up every morning at 5:30 a.m. before school to do weight training and ball handling. I’m shooting better than I ever have and I’m feeling real confident with my body. I’m prepared for whatever they throw at me. I’ve prepared to go to school and work.”

As far as his role as a freshman, Robinson said he and assistant coach Hubert Davis – who was Robinson’s lead recruiter along with Roy Williams – haven’t really talked about it. He believes, however, the key to playing time isn’t his offense.

“The thing I do best is shooting from the outside and scoring the ball, but I know defense gets you on the court first,” Robinson said. “I think with my length and how long my arms are, I can get in the passing lanes, break up passes and that could get me on the court a lot. I know we have a chance to be really good again and I just want to come in and do whatever they ask me to do and do whatever it takes to win.”

Robinson will wear No. 14 as a freshman.

Before he gets his jersey or even takes his first class, Robinson will be formally welcomed into the UNC program through pickup ball with his teammates and former UNC stars.

“They said the first day we get there, that night, we’ll play pickup,” Robinson said. “We’ll play against former players and guys who are in the NBA. It’s exciting to be able to play against guys like that on my first night there.”


Inside Carolina Top Stories