Last year, Carson High’s Alex Robison could have decided it was time to give up basketball.
Trying out for the Senator hoops team ended with head coach Jordan Glover telling his then-sophomore he wouldn’t be donning a varsity royal blue and white jersey that winter.
The news disappointed Robison, but it didn’t deter him.
Robison said he couldn’t walk away from the team and opted to be a manager, continuing to learn the Senators’ brand of hoops.
“Next year I’m going to prove this coach wrong. He’s going to be so surprised when he comes back,” said Robison of his mentality after finding out he wasn’t going to play varsity. “When I got cut, in me, I just don’t like being at that low. I want to be at the highest I can be.”
This year, Robison not only made the team, but earned a ‘C’ next to his name as Glover elected him captain alongside senior Nathan Smothers.
The journey to captainship
While learning Carson’s play style and strategies as a manager, Robison worked tirelessly on his game in order to get another shot at making the Senators’ roster.
His grind lasted longer than the regular season, putting in countless hours in the offseason on the hardwood and in the weight room.
Robison spent his time putting up shots, lifting weights and most importantly in the eyes of Glover, gaining the quickness necessary to compete at the varsity level.
“He’s probably one of two or three kids that was in the gym with me every day in the offseason and it’s showing,” said Glover.
The work ethic in the offseason combined with the desire to prove his coach wrong has paid off.
Robison will readily admit he isn’t the flashiest player on the floor, but he knows that’s not his role.
“I go out there and I try and work my hardest on boxing people out, setting the best screens,” Robison said.
The junior forward hasn’t just been given playing time either. In fact, he is still competing for floor time alongside fellow bigs in Will Breeding and Max Wood.
When he’s seen the floor, Robison has made a couple of noticeable impacts, directly catching the eye of his head coach.
He sank all three shots he took against a lengthy Reed team earlier this season. In back-to-back games in mid-December against Stevenson and San Juan, the 6-2 forward pulled down six and 10 rebounds, respectively.
Of the rebounds Robison has pulled down this season, over half of them have been on the offensive end of the floor.
A team leader
His work ethic wasn’t the only character trait that made Robison a team captain in Glover’s eyes.
His steadfast demeanor and desire to pick his teammates up has made Robison a positive impact even on the bench.
“He’s never up or down,” Glover said. “He’s always even-keeled and that’s something I’m not great at. ... He’s not going to mentally take himself out of the game.”
There’s an unselfishness in Robison’s character as well, noted Glover.
“The other day for instance, I said ‘Hey, Alex do you want to go in,’” asked Glover? “‘Yeah, coach I want to play, but I want Max (Wood) to dunk.’
“What a great teammate that is. Especially, a junior who got cut last year and wants every minute in the world.”
Robison says he just wants to work on his game every chance he can get.
“I want to be able to be in the game and work for all the time that I am in,” stated Robison. “Whether that’s getting rebounds or me scoring, whatever that is.”
Though he and the Senators have bigger dreams than improvement, the sweetest moment for Robison came earlier this season after he saw his first varsity action.
“The first game I went in. I went in got a few rebounds and scored I think. We went in after (the game) and coach was like, ‘you proved me wrong. You belong here,’” said Robison through a smile.
It’s moments like those that made the journey worth it for the Senator forward.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Robison of the feeling when he was named captain. “It just makes me so happy. Just seeing how I can improve the team and just being able to help Nathan being a captain and everything. Hopefully, leading the team to more success. It’s just a great feeling.”