Return to Home Page
I received an e-mail from Eddie Robinson, and then
asked him to provide a few
more thoughts for posting on the site. Eddie was as classy as they come at
Franklin and anyone who knows him is thrilled for his success. I feel it's important
that kids read his thoughts, especially those who feel that the deck is stacked
against them. Eddie may be reached at email@example.com.
I thank him so much for his time and effort on this!!
How are you? I hope you remember me (Eddie Robinson). Just to
refresh your memory, I played basketball for Ben Franklin H.S. from
1982-83 with Rico Washington, Pooh Richardson, etc... I hope all is well
Ted, I was writing to see if you would be interested in this: I have
been named Dean of Students at Baker University in Baldwin City,
Kansas (15 minutes from the University of Kansas -- Jayhawk Country).
I was named All-American at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
(at that time they were NAIA Division II, they are now NCAA Division III).
I was also invited to the Charlotte Hornets' rookie Camp in 1988. I would
love for all of the young athletes coming up who are aspiring to play
professional sports or become great athletes to see there's another side
to life, and that their development that needs more attention.
I was one of the fortunate ones growing up in Philly to have had many
great mentors such as Haviland (Biff) Harper, Sonny Hill, and Ken
"Ham" Hamilton to name a few. They used the game of basketball as a
mechanism to teach me about life and how to get the most out of it. I
don't know how many athletes since the early 80's are serving as
deans, vice-presidents or presidents at the university level, but for me it
is such an accomplishment and hopefully an encouragement to high
It has been said that the first ingredient of success is to dream a
great dream. The future belongs to those who believe in the
beauty of their dreams. However, in order to see any dream
become a reality, you must "commit" yourself to putting the
necessary time, effort and planning into accomplishing your
dream. You must have a plan, for without one you will more than
likely fail. Lastly, never forsake the importance of a good
education. When you cease to learn, you in essence cease to
become that which you were destined to become.
I really feel that kids (inner-city kids especially) need to know there
is another way to get ahead. I loved my experiences as an athlete and
wouldn't trade them for anything. However, very few people make it
to the professional level.
When I was let go by the Charlotte Hornets, it didn't bother me as much
because I went straight to graduate school to get my Masters Degree,
thereby having a plan outside of basketball. I know you know all of this,
but this message can't be told enough.
Ted, I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to
respond and also appreciated growing up in Philly reading your sports
articles. Every athlete in Philly looked forward to your articles.
Here's a story I wrote about Eddie in March of 1982, his junior season . . .
Robinson Rejoins Franklin Family
Ed Robinson's basketball career took a giant step forward between the start
of his sophomore year and the three-fourths mark of his junior year.
Last Thursday, however, as Benjamin Franklin ousted West Philadelphia from
the Public League playoffs, it appeared as if Robinson's gradual backward
slide was gaining momentum.
Ed played only 11 minutes in the 54-53 win, including none in the second
half. His contributions were limited to no points and one rebound.
"We have seen that a few times before," said Coach Ken Hamilton, laughing.
"We call that 'underclassmanitis.'
"Young kids go out there blind and spend most of the season taking what
comes. Everything's great. Then it gets late in the season. We're playing one
big game after another. They start to think, 'My goodness. Look where I am.'"
LAST SATURDAY, Ed Robinson's place was back in the thick of things as
Franklin deflated Olney, 80-69, in a Palestra-based semi to ensure a berth in
the finals for the fourth consecutive year. This time, Ed's vital numbers
were 28 minutes, 10 points and nine rebounds.
"I didn't lose any confidence because of the West game," Robinson said. " I
was happy that (soph) Brian Smith got some playing time and helped us win. I
knew it would help his confidence and help us overall."
Mini-setbacks are nothing new to Robinson, the last cut from Vince
"I maintained a good attitude and refused to give up," Ed said. " I told
myself I would be ready for next season's tryouts. I played recreation ball
and joined a team in the Future League."
It was there that a Franklin fan noticed Ed's improvement and placed a call
"Ham didn't even know me, but he came to a game one night," Ed said. " He
asked me to join their Venice Island summer team, although they had already
played two games.
"I KNEW I HAD a good chance of making the team. I was surprised and happy
when Ham let me start. Ham would have preferred using a senior, but that
didn't work out. He said I was the most mature junior."
"Rebounding. That was what I wanted from Ed," Hamilton said. "I also liked
his maturity. Most days, he comes off as a very settled young man. He reminds
me of Vaughn Coats ( '79 star now at Rider ) . Ed's an excellent student and
that always helps."
Franklin's starters all hit double figures and combined for all of the
points. Smith and Warfield collected 10 rebounds each. Ronald Barnett, the
steal of the season for a good Division II school (perhaps as George Melton's
replacement at Cheyney), totaled 21 points and 21 rebounds for Olney. Guards
Anthony McFadden, a junior, and John Green, Faison's sophomore cousin, drilled
16 and 18 points.
"Know what? The kid who told me about Robinson was up in the stands,"
Hamilton said. " He said that I was lunchin', that I should have given him a
ticket. He's probably right."