The phone calls from college coaches have come pouring in for Medgar Evers senior Jasmin Robinson. There was Hofstra, St. Peter’s and Rhode Island just this week. The lightning quick point guard has become a hot commodity.
But on April 14 she stayed true to the school she quietly verbally committed to last month and signed a National Letter of Intent to play women’s basketball at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.
“Finally,” Robinson with a sigh at the Wheelchair Charities HS Basketball Classic that night. “It doesn’t have to be a secret anymore.”
It’s ironic that so many Division I programs have been hot on her trail the last few weeks. It was just a few months ago, back in December, when Robinson was struggling to find a Division I school. Places like St. Francis, Delaware State, Hampton, Florida A&M, Robert Morris and Quinnipiac were around, but not aggressive at all.
“No one showed strong interest,” said Dytanya Mixson, Robinson’s AAU coach with the Lady X-Men. “They showed a little interest.”
But then, almost overnight, Robinson blew up. She led Medgar Evers to the PSAL Class A title and upstate to the New York State Federation Class A tournament. Mixson said St. Francis saw her in the PSAL quarterfinals against Bronx Science when she had 18 points and 11 assists and the coaches were sold.
Two weeks later, Robinson was playing in the Terriers’ home gym in the Class A final and after the Cougars won the title she visited with the coaches. A few days later, she went on an official visit and the very next day she verbally committed.
“It happened fast,” Robinson said.
It was on that official visit that St. Francis head coach Brenda Milano really got to know Robinson off the court. Milano took the recruit to meet with athletic department administrators and the following day the coach had e-mails from those administrators asking if Robinson was definitely coming to the Brooklyn Heights school.
“She made a strong impression,” Milano said.
Milano is hoping for the same kind of thing on the court next year. St. Francis won just two games this season, but started four freshmen. The Terriers’ one missing cog was a true point guard and Robinson figures to slide in quite nicely.
“It’s very difficult to find a true point guard, someone who is confident enough to be able to run the show and be an extension of the coach out on the floor – especially in the early years of a career,” Milano said. “Obviously, she could see the door was wide open for her. We’re hoping she can take the ball the next four years and run with it.”
Robinson joked that she would be making history because she’s the only player from New York City on the St. Francis roster, but Milano said that’s not by design.
“At times, we may get criticized,” she said. “People say, ‘Why don’t you have any players from Brooklyn on your team?’ Well, it’s not that we don’t try. Of course, there’s a ton of talent right in our backyard.”
Robinson, who will study business at St. Francis, is one of those talented kids, who also happens to have an 86 average and solid SAT score to go along with her terrific basketball skills. To think it was just a few months ago that she was being lightly recruited by Division I schools. But that wasn’t going to deter her at all.
“She always knows what she wants,” Medgar Evers coach Barney Davis said. “When she has her mind set on something, people aren’t going to change it.”