Former NBA superstar David Robinson spoke to a jam-packed house at the Beto Criminal Justice Center on campus Tuesday as part of The President’s Speaker Series.
Robinson talked about his success on and off the basketball court as well as the importance of giving back to the community. In 1992, Robinson and his wife started the David Robinson Foundation, which helps serve the physical and spiritual needs of the family.
In September 1997, the Robinsons donated $5 million to establish the Carver Academy, an independent school that serves low-income African-American and Hispanic families on the east side of San Antonio.
“My wife and I started the Carver Academy seven years ago because education has always been something dear to my heart,” Robinson said. “When I look around, I think to myself, what is going to last when I’m gone? People are going to forget about you when you’re gone so what I want to do is leave something here that will give something back to the community.”
Robinson attended Osborn Park High School in Manassas, Va. and attended the United State Navel Academy upon graduation. During his college career at the Academy, Robinson set several NCAA records and was named “College Player of the Year” his senior season. Robinson said that the military helped shape him into the man he is today.
“I went to the Navel Academy so I have a military background,” Robinson said. “I love the fact that the Academy taught me about service. When you get there they teach about the people who came before you and how they gave their lives to build a foundation and now we’re building on that foundation that has already been laid down. So we need to continue to lay down that foundation for the future.”
Robinson continued to praise God for everything in his life and said that he believes that God has more in store for him since his retirement.
“The Lord has so many great things in store for me and I’m so excited to move on,” Robinson said. “All the success that I had in basketball was just one small step in a long journey that God has planned for me. By the world’s standards this (basketball) is the highest that I’ll achieve, but by God’s standard, it is elementary school.”
During his NBA career, Robinson earned many accolades including; “Rookie of the Year” in 1990, league “Most Valuable Player” in 1995, and he won two NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs among many others. Robinson is also the only male basketball player to appear in three Olympic games.
Sam Houston State president Dr. James Gaertner introduced Robinson to begin the presentation. The two met while Dr. Gaertner served as president of the Carver Academy Board in San Antonio.
After Robinson spoke, he gave members of the audience a chance to ask questions that ranged from the Kobe Bryant case to his thoughts on student athletes forgoing college.