Coach Andy Robinson
High school: Schenectady High School ’05
College: University at Buffalo ’09
Years coaching at Mo’ Motion: 4
Hometown: Schenectady, NY
Current Residence: Kew Gardens, Queens, NY
The Achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon in the human body. It has to be because it supports up to 10 times a person’s body weight. Tearing one ends the careers of many professional athletes. Mo’ Motion Coach Andy Robinson didn’t only tear his right Achilles in 2011, he came back from that injury and then tore his left one year later.
“It felt like someone kicking me really, really hard at my foot and tripping,” Andy said.
Most players would have been done. Not Andy. He came back after the second tear so strong that he was able to play overseas and get a few looks from pro teams.
Andy is from my hometown area – upstate New York, capital district region. Over the years our area has produced consistently skilled, gritty and smart players like Coach Andy. When I found out he tore his Achilles’ tendon two times, I knew that Andy was old-school tough. Earlier this season he was doing plyometrics when he slipped and landed on his hand. He finished the workout then later realized his hand didn’t look right. It was broken.
That kind of determination has been present with Andy from the start. It’s part of what made him a prized recruit at the University at Buffalo. As a senior guard at Schenectady High School, he averaged 14.5 points, 5 rebounds and 5.1 assists. More than those states, though, he was known for his lock-down defense and that helped him earn runner-up honors for the Capital District Player of the Year award. He was also named an All-Capital District selection three times. Robinson played four years for the University of Buffalo and scored more than a thousand points over four seasons.
“The greatest moment of my career was being conference champions in college,” Andy said of his senior year in 2009. “That’s something a lot of teams and players want, and we accomplished that.”
After college, he pursued his dreams of playing professionally in Canada, Puerto Rico, England and Mexico. He also found time to coach, something he’d been doing since his summers off in college. He said his tutelage helped Joe Cremo land at the University of Albany and Kevin Huerter sign with Maryland.
Andy said he loves seeing young athletes develop under his supervision, and that he hopes to coach in Division I someday. We as a program are happy to support him and our staff in getting to their next step in the coaching ranks.
In the meantime, I am most grateful for Andy’s desire to always be improving his coaching game — both with us and in his job at Rodeph Sholom, at Southhampton Day Camp, and when he is doing private training. Our players, coaches and parents are all big fans of his intensity, knowledge and ability to work with all age and experience levels.
Here’s a Q&A with Coach Andy with some photos from his career listed below.
What is the No. 1 thing you try to get across to your players? The will and passion to work together. Play as a unit and anything is possible.
Who influenced you the most in your basketball career as a player and coach? It’s really hard for me to name just one because I was blessed with some great mentors and father figures my life from my pastor, Paul Schlett, to Kevin Rogers who introduced me to basketball, and Phyllis Cirillo, who was my nanny, and my youth basketball coach, Joe Healey. These people made me who I am today, on and off the court.
Who is your favorite basketball player? Kobe Bryant because of his work ethic and tenacity on and off the court. He doesn’t let any obstacle overcome him and he works harder than anyone.
Why is basketball your favorite sport? The excitement the game brings, and the way you have to work hard to get to where you want to be. Also that you can’t take much time off because you can lose all that you’ve worked on. It just makes the game so fun.
Can you describe your first workout at Mo’ Motion? My first day was a bit of a struggle! I was trying to fit in and show what I know about coaching. At first, it was a lot of work trying to command the floor of tons of young athletes.
What is your favorite Mo’ Motion memory? My favorite Mo’ Motion memory is last winter having a 5/6th grade team that was new to playing basketball. On paper, they weren’t the greatest team and nobody thought they’d win. But those guys learned to play together. We had a great season and upset some teams.
What is your favorite quote about sports and/or life? “If you’re not first, you’re last!” That’s a quote from the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby. It’s funny, but I use it as fuel to better myself and compete to be the best that I can be. Until you’re on top, you just have to keep fighting more than anyone else to get there.
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