Do-it-all Grand Junction senior eyes next level
Grand Junction’s Everett Robinson is a basketball player.
Now, before the word ‘duh!’ pops into your mind, think about what it means to be a basketball player.
A basketball player takes numerous athletic skills and uses them in various situations throughout a game.
There are players who specialize in shooting 3-pointers but fall short in other areas. Others are tall and are strong defenders and rebounders, but struggle shooting. There are very few high school basketball players who can do it all.
Robinson can do it all.
“He doesn’t have a weakness that sticks out to me,” Grand Junction coach Dutch Johnson said. “He is a good all-around player.”
Robinson is a 6-foot-4 forward with long arms and overflowing natural athletic ability.
Robinson has played in 12 of the Tigers’ 16 games and is averaging 21.3 points. That number has been boosted from about 14 points per game last season by Robinson’s hard work over the summer.
Heading into his senior season, Robinson established himself as a player who had the ability to get to the hoop with relative ease. But last season, teams were backing off and daring him to shoot.
This year that strategy has backfired. Robinson leads, his team with 28 3-pointers, he has made 33 percent of the Tigers’ 3-pointers.
“I worked on that a lot,” Robinson said. “I knew shooting was my weakness, so I had to work extra hard.”
Robinson developed a arcing shot, and when it goes in, it doesn’t usually touch much as it travels through the net.
What impresses Johnson is the fact Robinson continues to score against a variety of defenses.
“Every game we go into, we have been guarded differently,” Johnson said. “We have seen more different defenses this season then I have ever seen because of Everett.”
Robinson has adapted to everything he has seen, and his 253 points this season account for 33 percent of the Tigers total. Johnson said Robinson has stayed patient with opposing defenses.
“There have been a few games where teams have tried some gimmicky defense and he has tried to force it,” Johnson said. “But for the most part, he is doing a good job of not forcing shots.”
But what makes a great basketball player is the ability to be dangerous in every aspect of the game.
Robinson has the ability to guard anyone from a point guard to a center. His jumping ability makes him one of the Tigers’ best rebounders and he leads the team in assists.
“I want to be able to do everything,” Robinson said. “Rebound, defend, score.”
Johnson said Robinson’s work ethic spills over to his teammates.
“He is a relentless worker,” Johnson said. “It’s good when your best player is like that because everyone else thinks, ‘if Everett is going to work that hard, then I better work hard.’ ”
For someone this talented, colleges aren’t exactly knocking down his door. Robinson said he has been in contact with a few junior colleges, and Johnson thinks that might be Robinson’s best route to the next level.
“Academically right now, junior college would be the best option,” said Johnson, who played junior college basketball before transferring to Mesa State. “And a lot of jucos have been calling me. I think in the last two weeks, seven or eight junior colleges have called me.”
However Robinson’s future shakes out, he has six Southwestern League games to cement his legacy at Grand Junction. After a Sweet 16 exit last season, Robinson is looking for something more this year.
“I have to be a leader,” Robinson said. “We want to win the SWL and get past the Sweet 16 again.”