Hall of Fame

David Robinson

Basketball

Olympian in Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games

Born:
August 6, 1965
Birthplace:
Key West, Florida
Hometown:
Manassas, Virginia
College:
United States Naval Academy

hall of fame

David Robinson

Basketball

Olympian in Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games

Born:
August 6, 1965
Birthplace:
Key West, Florida
Hometown:
Manassas, Virginia
College:
United States Naval Academy
Photo courtesy International Olympic Committee
David Robinson did not stand out on the basketball court until starring at the Naval Academy. He played in three Olympic Games, winning two gold medals and one bronze.
SHARE

David Robinson was not particularly tall until his later teenage years. He did not make the high school basketball team until his senior year and even then, he was far from a star player. He accepted an appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

Robinson had grown to 6 feet 8 by the time he arrived in Annapolis; he averaged 7.6 points and played 13.3 minutes per game as a freshman. Another growth spurt, though, pushed Robinson to 7 feet; it also coincided with his rise to stardom on the basketball court. Robinson’s last three years at Navy were filled with individual and team success. He was a two-time first-team All-American, won national player of the year awards and the San Antonio Spurs drafted him first overall in the 1987 NBA Draft.

Robinson, though, was not yet ready for the NBA. The Navy lowered Robinson’s service requirement from five to two years and sent him to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in southeast Georgia.

Remaining an amateur, Robinson made his Olympic debut at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, where the Americans were upset by Soviet Union in the semifinals and settled for the bronze medal.

Robinson joined the Spurs for the 1989-90 season and turned around the team’s fortunes. Robinson was the NBA Rookie of the Year that season, leading the team to its first playoff series victory since 1983. In 1992, Robinson joined other NBA players on the original Dream Team as The Olympics allowed professionals to compete. The result was perhaps the greatest team ever created, winning its games by average of 44 points as Coach Chuck Daly did not call one timeout the entire tournament in the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Four years later, with an NBA Most Valuable Player Award on his resume, Robinson returned to The Olympics at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, leading the U.S. to another gold medal.

By the time he retired from pro basketball, Robinson had led the Spurs to two NBA championships, been named an all-star 10 times, scored more than 20,000 points and grabbed more than 10,000 rebounds. He was well known as “The Admiral” on the court.

Not bad for a tall kid who went to the Naval Academy expecting a career in the Armed Forces.

“At first, I didn’t have a whole lot of feeling toward basketball—I was just a tall kid,” Robinson said early in his pro career. “I didn’t feel natural doing it, and I didn’t have a particular gift for it. I thought it was just a recreational thing. I never thought this was something I was going to be successful at. It just worked out that way.”



MEDAL RESULTS
1988 Seoul Men's Basketball Bronze
1992 Barcelona Men's Basketball Gold
1996 Atlanta Men's Basketball Gold

TICKETS NOW

ON SALE

DISCOUNTS FOR MILITARY, FIRST RESPONDERS, SENIORS, GROUPS AND MORE!​
RELATED GALLERY
  • Sint excepteur
connect with us
NEXT UP
  • SPORT: 
  • Swimming
  • BORN: 06.29.1985
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
Swimmer Erin Popovich is a three-time Paralympian; 14 of her 19 Paralympic medals were golds. She is a two-time winner of the ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete with a Disability.
  • SPORT: 
  • Volleyball
  • BORN: 07.30.1977
  • Los Angeles, California
Misty May-Treanor was a college star at indoor volleyball, then successfully transitioned to one of the best beach volleyball careers of all-time, teaming with Kerri Walsh Jennings to win three Olympic gold medals and retiring with a then-record 112 wins.
  • SPORT: 
  • Track and Field
  • BORN: 06.06.1944
  • Clarksville, Texas
Tommie Smith's courage to protest for racial equality continues to be remembered throughout the sports landscape.
  • SPORT: 
  • Track and Field
  • BORN: 06.05.1945
  • Harlem, New York
John Carlos and Tommie Smith's protest for racial equality has echoed throughout the sports world since the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games.
Skip to content