Family is the foundation behind basketball for Virginia Tech’s Justin Robinson

Posted at 11:13 PM, Apr 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-21 23:13:53-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Family is the foundation for Justin Robinson both on the hardwood, and in the bleachers.

Justin Robinson with his mother & father. (Courtesy: Justin Robinson)

"He's like a little brother to me," Ahmed Hill, Robinson's former backcourt mate at Virginia Tech, told News 3. Whenever you see him on the court, chances are you'll see his support system in the stands.

"Even when I was injured, there were at every game," Robinson told News 3. "I think throughout my whole college career, my mom has missed maybe six games home and away."

Verdell Robinson, Justin's father, says they would travel from Manassas in Northern Virginia, to Blacksburg for every home game at Cassell Coliseum. "It's a support thing," the elder Robinson said.

"If he's got us there, supporting him, and also talking to him after the game, because his mom does a lot of that to let him know what he's not doing right, what he could have done better, that kind of helps him out."

Growing up in Manassas, Justin was never the quickest, and at just six-feet tall, not the tallest. By being a student of the game from an early age, his basketball IQ out-measures height and speed. 

Justin Robinson talking with his mother & father. (Courtesy: Justin Robinson)

"He's always had that skill. To have the leadership skills also, to see plays later, maybe two or three plays before it happens," Robinson said.

Even with his uncanny vision, the Hokies all time assist leader faced doubters at every level.


"I used to be told I was little, still am told my size might be a factor at the next level but its something I take as motivation," Justin said. It's added a chip to his shoulder, and it got him in front of hundreds of NBA scouts at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament this past week. 

His success on the court can be credited to his hard work, but also a glance to the right or left, depending on where his family is in the bleachers.

"They're kind of my why," Robinson said.  They're why I want to fulfill my dream and sustain playing at the highest level. They've sacrificed so much that if I give up, its letting them down too."

Justin Robinson #5 of the Virginia Tech Hokies. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

But that isn't an option, and as it has been for 21 years, J. Rob will be surrounded by support every step of the way.


"No matter what happens when he reaches the pros, I think he'll be great, I think he'll reach his goals," his father said.

That system, is what's propelled him from under-the-radar guard to pro prospect waiting to hear his name called.