Men's basketball

Big Dog puts on a howling good show

2014-02-20T20:15:00Z 2014-02-24T15:17:06Z Big Dog puts on a howling good showAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
February 20, 2014 8:15 pm  • 

WEST LAFAYETTE | You didn't stop Glenn Robinson at Roosevelt, Purdue or in his 11 NBA seasons.

You could only key on his less-talented teammates and pray he didn't drop 100 on you.

He wasn't called "Big Dog" because of his feet.

The 6-foot-7, 240-pound small forward was honored at halftime of Purdue's Thursday night game with No. 13 Michigan State. The first 3,000 fans to Mackey Arena got a Glenn Robinson bobblehead.

But everyone was treated to priceless memories.

"Glenn was the easiest player to coach that ever played for me," former coach Gene Keady said in a taped interview shown on the scoreboard high above the court named in the coach's honor. "Glenn enjoyed practices and loved to compete. He was a dream to have as a player.

"I was probably harder on him than everybody else, because I wanted him to be the best."

Robinson was quick to return the compliment.

"Purdue is the foundation of my NBA career. Coach Keady is the best thing that ever happened to me," Robinson told the sellout, standing room only crowd.

Earlier, Robinson met the media and looked like he could still hoop it up. In fact, he has yet to file official retirement papers with the NBA.

"Who knows? Maybe one day I can play with little Glenn," he said of his son, Glenn III, a Michigan standout.

Robinson led the Big Ten in scoring with 24.1 points per game in 1992-93. He led the nation in scoring at 30.3 ppg. and was the consensus National Player of the Year in 1993-94.

The 1991 Mr. Basketball was just getting started.

After re-writing the Purdue recordbook, Robinson came out early and was the Milwaukee Bucks' No. 1 overall pick in '94.

"I've had a bobblehead of myself in Milwaukee and in Philadelphia," he said. "But I'll tell ya, my Purdue bobblehead looks a lot better than those NBA ones."

Robinson's 20.7 NBA career scoring average also included a brief stint with San Antonio, where he won a championship ring in 2005.

Though slowed by ankle, knee and shin ailments late in his playing career, Robinson said he wasn't bitter he couldn't have played longer.

"I wanted to be able to play at the same high level I was used to. That was important to me," Robinson said.

Being a Prop 48 at Purdue was extremely maddening, he added, because he had been starring on the court since fifth grade. He credited Keady for helping him mature in the classroom and on the court.

Robinson's other son, Gelen, is a three-sport standout at Lake Central who is headed to Purdue on a football scholarship. Gelen recently revealed he will wear his dad's No. 13 next season.

"Wow. I can't wait to wear his (football) jersey," said Robinson, who posed for photos with Gelen before the second half began. "It's been quite a ride but the ride isn't over for me. I'm just a passenger now."

A quiet, private individual early in his playing career, Robinson said he doesn't really mind all the fanfare and media coverage.

"When I played in high school, I had (media attention) coming at me from all directions, all the time," he said.

"It was tiring. All I wanted to do was work and focus on my game, but I never had anything against the media."

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