4C Thursday, November 14, 2013/ p
5C Thursday, November 14 2013 // TipOff
story by Daniel Wasserman, Daily Sports Editor
photos by Adam Glanzman, Managing Photo Editor
For all of his life, Glenn Robinson III listened.
He listened. And he thought.
ogwhile he listened, while he
-~thought, others spoke. Even
in his house, he was the qui-
etest one there, "boring," even,
according to his mom.
For his entire life, he's listened
to people tell him he should talk
more. Especially on the court.
Not even the massive Cowboys
Stadium video board - the one
that read: Kansas 70, Michigan 60
with 3:47 to play - could illustrate
the Wolverines' doomed fate like
the faces inside the team's huddle.
"A lot of people were looking
down, and a lot of people didn't
think that we would be able to do
it on our team - even the coach-
ing staff," Robinson remembers. "I
So in what was the biggestgame
of his life, he listened to the ban-
ter of his teammates - "people
were talking about plays or this or
that or what we should do" - and
then, finally, he listened to some-
thing else. A voice in his head. An
And for the first time as a mem-
ber of the Michigan basketball
team, it was time for his team-
mates to listen to the thinker.
He rose to his feet, silenc-
ing Trey and Tim, Josh Bartel-
stein and Corey Person. His AAU
coach, his most-trusted mentor,
had always told him that some-
times people misconstrue talkers
with leaders; that "even if garbage
came out (your) mouth," your
teammates would listen. Listen,
because you're the listener.
So that's how Robinson recalls
beginning: "'Listen, let's focus on
defense, and let's get the job done.
"'We can win this game. I don't
know if you're all ready to go home,
but I'm not. Let's go. Let's step this
up, let's get a couple steals and get
right back in it.' "
Michigan did, of course, and
now Robinson has a ring and a new
title, captain, to show for it. But to
understand how he got there, how
he got here, you must understand
the things the listener has heard.
You're not big enough.
The son of two-time NBA All-
Star Glenn Robinson Jr. was born
prematurely - so underdevel-
oped that he fit comfortably in his
father's palm. But before he could
be held, he was placed into an incu-
bator that, for days, housed two
things: baby Glenn and an equally
miniature Purdue basketball.
But for all of his athletic prow-
ess now, he admits that surpris-
ingly, he couldn't dunk until his
sophomore year of high school -
but not for alack of effort.
As a freshman in high school, he
bought shoes from a magazine that
promised to increase his vertical
and wouldn't take them off.
"I don't know what my obses-
sion with dunking was," he says,
unable to hold back his laughter.
"I used to sleep in the shoes, sleep
with ankle weights on, just so I
Four years later, his 360
dunk at Minnesota was No. 1 on
SportsCenter's top-10 plays. Rob-
inson isn't satisfied, giving it a '5'
on a 10-point scale - nothing com-
pared to the dunk over his Jeep
that he has been working on.
But at age 15, with his dad living
hundreds of miles away in Atlanta,
Robinson's stature hardly resem-
bled 'Big Dog.' Without a day-to-
day father figure, the two biggest
basketball mentors entered his life
not long after the completion of his
freshman season on the Lake Cen-
tral High (Ind.) JV team.
The first was Lake Central var-
sity coach Dave Milausnic, who
realized that Robinson would
likely be his best player the next
season. Milausnic saw raw talent,
so he prompted Robinson to come
into school with him at 5:30 a.m.
to shoot. When Robinson needed a
ride, Milausnic was there.
"There were times when he
would be sitting out in the truck
in my driveway, and I was still in
bed - I didn't want to get up," Rob-
inson said. "I thank him for that."
As summer approached, Robin-
son - playing on a younger team
in one the Midwest's best AAU
programs, SYF Players - caught
the eye of famed coach Wayne
Brumm. Brumm, the under-17
coach, has turned the organization
into an Indiana basketball factory
that has pumped out, among oth-
ers, Michigan's Mitch McGary,
Spike Albrecht and Max Bielfeldt,
Michigan State's Branden Daw-
son and Travis Trice, and recent
NBA Draft picks Robbie Hummel,
E'Twaun Moore and Luke Haran-
"He knew he maybe wanted to
be along the lines of his dad, but
I don't think he really knew how
to get there," Brumm said of his
earliest memories of Robinson. "I
mean, don't get me wrong, he has
good genes obviously, but he was
lanky, skinny and soft, which is a
The first thing that Brumm told
Robinson and his mother was to
call trainer Andrew Wallen. For
Brumm, it was as much of a test as
it was the first step to getting Rob-
inson in shape.
In his first visit to Wallen, Rob-
inson weighed in at 167 pounds. In
six weeks, his vertical increased
six inches. Wallen would give Rob-
inson weekly weight goals - he
still weighs in at every session.
By his junior year, Robinson
was up to 184 pounds. A year later,
he reached 210.
"I've never trained anyone that
would out-work him," Wallen said.
When Robinson committed to
Michigan before his junior year,
he was a three star. By the end of
his senior year, he was a consensus
five star and Rivals.com's No. 11
"Once kids like Glenn become a
star, people think theyve always
been a star, and that's not the
case," Brumm said. "I don't think