Former UConn and professional basketball player Stanley Robinson has died, the school announced on Wednesday. He was 32.
The UConn men’s basketball team issued a statement on social media announcing that Robinson has died. The cause of death was not immediately shared.
The UConn Basketball family grieves the loss of a great player and an even greater person, Stanley “Sticks” Robinson. Our thoughts and prayers are with Stanley’s family at this difficult time
Rest In Peace, Sticks. pic.twitter.com/ihm5z0h1OK
— UConn Men's Basketball (@UConnMBB) July 22, 2020
Robinson, who was nicknamed “Sticks” from a young age because of his lanky stature, was one of the most electric players in UConn history. He helped lead the Huskies to the Final Four in 2009 and averaged 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in his four-year career at the school. While his 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a senior in 2009-10 were impressive, Robinson became a fan favorite at UConn because of his incredible athleticism and dunking ability.
Damn, just turned 32 years old. One of the most electrifying players #UConn ever had on the basketball court. As good of a dunker as I've ever seen in college basketball. Most of all always regarded as a great all-around guy.
— Jeff D Lowe (Not Tiger King Guy) (@JeffDLowe) July 22, 2020
Former UConn head coach Jim Calhoun described Robinson as a “really sweet kid.”
Jim Calhoun on Stanley Robinson: "Just a really, really sweet kid. The world was harsh for him, because he was such a caring, giving person."
— Dom Amore (@AmoreCourant) July 22, 2020
Robinson had some off-court trouble during his junior year and took a semester off. He worked a full-time job at a scrapyard in Willimantic, Conn., before returning to the program. After he was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2010, Robinson reflected on his time working at the scrapyard and having to support his two children while playing basketball.
“Man, that was rough,” Robinson said, per Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “It was no easy job. It just made me realize how much I missed the game of basketball. But I had to do it for my family.”
Robinson never appeared in an NBA game, but he played professionally overseas up until his death.
On a personal note, I attended UConn the same four years that Robinson played there. He was one of those players that could make you want to punch a hole in a wall in frustration one minute and run through a brick wall with excitement the next. His athletic ability was something that had to be witnessed in person to truly appreciate.
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