Doc tabbed SEC Legend

Published 10:14 pm Friday, March 6, 2009

Former Selma basketball player Doc Robinson will represent Auburn as an SEC Legend at the SEC Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.

Robinson was a sophomore catalyst of Selma High’s 1994 Class 6A state title team. On the Plains, he twice earned first-team All-America honors, was voted team MVP three times and finished his career with 1,332 career points.

And yet, even with those accomplishments under his belt, the recognition surprised him.

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“It makes me feel kind of old,” he said. “I appreciate it. I’m glad I was able to participate and represent university.”

According to his father, Randolph Robinson, Doc showed immense potential at a young age. He attended Georgia Tech’s basketball camp when he was in the the fifth grade and left an impression on former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Crimmins. When Randolph Robinson arrived to pick up his son, he was told Crimmins wanted to speak with him.

“He said you’ve got something special,” said Randolph Robinson. “We’re going to be keeping an eye on him.”

It took a few more years for Doc Robinson to realize his own potential. When former Selma coach Willie Maxey promoted him to the varsity team when he was a 10th-grader, he was admittedly a little nervous. But a quick start at Livingston remedied that problem.

“I scored the first seven points of the game, and suddenly it was, ‘Now I’m here. Now I’m ready.’”

The transition to the Plains didn’t go as smoothly as hoped. Robinson notes a game against Arkansas in 1998 — his sophomore season at Auburn — which taught him a lesson that stuck with him. Robinson turned down a shot to pass the ball to Derrick Caldwell, who couldn’t handle the pass. Former Arkansas player Kareen Reid grabbed the loose ball and raced to the other end for a game-winning layup.

“Looking back on it, I was like I did lose the game,” he said. “That stuck with me. From that point, every time we needed a crucial shot, I took it.”