Stanley Robinson, the former UConn basketball star, has died at 32. The UConn men’s basketball Twitter account announced Robinson’s death on Wednesday morning.
According to the Hartford Courant, Robinson’s body was found in his home by his mother. The cause of death has not been announced.
Robinson, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, was a standout basketball star in high school. Known as “Sticks,” he won the 2005-2006 Alabama Mr. Basketball award, given to the best men’s high school basketball player in the state. He went on to play for UConn under legendary head coach Jim Calhoun, where he was known for his highlight-reel dunks. He once scored double figures in 34 straight games, and played an integral role in the Huskies’ run to the Final Four in 2009.
NBA career didn’t pan out
Robinson declared for the NBA draft and did attempt a professional basketball career in the U.S. He was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the 59th overall pick in 2010, but was waived at the end of training camp. The 2011 NBA lockout hurt his chances of catching on with another team, and after spending a year in the G League he started playing ball internationally. He played in Canada, Chile and several other countries, but injuries repeatedly hurt his chances of working his way back into the NBA.
Calhoun has stayed close with Robinson ever since he left UConn, and spoke to the Courant about their relationship.
“He was just a really, really sweet kid,” Calhoun said. “The world was harsh for him, because they weren’t all like Stanley Robinson. He was such a caring, giving person.”
Calhoun told the Courant that he just spoke with Robinson on Monday, and has spoken to him about once a month since he left UConn. “He was certainly one of the great athletes I’ve coached,” Calhoun said. “He just could never get the break he needed.”
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