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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ryan Robertson comes ‘full-circle’

Former Jayhawk guard bonds with son at Self’s parent/child camp

Ryan Robertson, right, poses with his son J.D. at the Bill Self Parent/Child camp on Friday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Ryan Robertson, right, poses with his son J.D. at the Bill Self Parent/Child camp on Friday at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Ryan Robertson, right, poses with his son J.D. at the Bill Self Parent/Child camp on Friday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Ryan Robertson, who attended Roy Williams’ Kansas University Basketball Camp as a freshman at St. Charles (Mo.) West High, on Friday was back in Allen Fieldhouse for Bill Self’s Parent/Child camp.

“It’s full-circle now,” said Robertson, a 36-year-old former KU combo guard who played for the Jayhawks from 1996-99. He and 6-year-old son J.D. are in Lawrence for basketball and bonding this Father’s Day weekend.

“When we walked in the fieldhouse for the first time with J.D. as a player, he went over there and shot at that goal, and that was the goal I shot on for four years during practice,” Ryan Robertson added of a side goal on the southeast side of James Naismith Court.

“I’m passing it down a generation.”

Robertson, who scored five points while playing for the winning Blue team in Thursday’s Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, said, “Like all the other dads here, I’m here to have a good time, be with my son. It’s going to be a good couple of days.”

The 6-foot-5 Robertson and his wife, Andrea, a 5-foot-10 former University of Missouri soccer standout, live in St. Charles with their three children — J.D., Kylie and Rex. Ryan is regional marketing director for Goldman-Sachs.

“I’m trying to get college paid for. J.D. is 6. In 12 years, college is going to be too expensive for me to afford,” Robertson joked.

Robertson played one year with the Sacramento Kings following his graduation from KU. He played pro ball in Holland, Greece and France for four seasons before entering the business world.

“I was done,” Robertson said. “I got to the point I was ready to move to the next step, do something different, so it’s what we did.”

Of his appearance in the Roundball Classic, in which he hit one three, Robertson said: “I was mad at Pollard (Scot) and Gurley (Greg, Blue team coaches) for not playing me more. I’m getting old. There were a lot of younger guys there. It was fun. We put on a good show, I thought, raised some good money (for two youths with cancer).”

Former KU guard/current Perry-Lecompton coach Jeff Hawkins, who scored 13 points at the Classic, also is attending the Parent/Child camp with his son, Mav.

Looking back: Robertson, who is the No. 45-leading scorer (1,055 points) and No. 11 assists leader (485) in KU history, played in one of the most star-studded McDonald’s All-America games of all time.

“There were a lot of great ones in that game,” Robertson said. “You had Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Chauncey Billups, Stephon Marbury, Antoine Jamison, Vince Carter, ‘Tractor’ Traylor ... I’m missing some others. We had a lot of big names.”

Others in that game included Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Ron Mercer, Wayne Turner and Jelani McCoy.

“I knew Garnett was special,” Robertson said of knowing at the time Garnett would be a phenom. “After playing with Paul a few years (at KU), you knew Paul was going to be special.”

Daddy Ryan: The Ladue News in late February did a Q-and-A with Robertson. A sampling ...

Q: How do you approach basketball with your kids? A: It’s my biggest struggle. I can’t remember how serious I am supposed to take it. My daughter is in second grade and my son is in kindergarten. Do I ask them to practice layups in the driveway? I have to enjoy it — they have to enjoy it.

Q: Are MU fans still razzing you about choosing KU? A: Four years ago, I walked into a Bread Company in Columbia. I had my suit on and was doing business. I ordered my coffee and bagels. My head was down, and as I am walking out, there was a table by the door with four frat boys, who started to boo me. I smiled and waved, and walked out.

Q: Your most rewarding game against Mizzou? A: My senior year. We were ranked No. 1 or 2 my first three years that we went to Columbia. We had great teams, but Mizzou always won in Columbia. So my senior year, we traveled to Columbia...and we won the game. I think I had 18 points.

Wiggins update: Andrew Wiggins’ dad, Mitchell, spoke to CBC Sports about Andrew’s decision to work out at KU this summer instead of play for Canada’s Under 19 national team.

“The last couple of years have been very taxing on him,” Mitchell Wiggins told CBC. “We talked to (Canada senior national team GM) Steve Nash and Bill Self and we tried to come up with a program that fits everybody, but also gets Andrew some rest because, at the end of the day he’s 18. The biggest thing was having Steve, Canada Basketball and coach Self on the same page. He’s committed to the Canadian national program, but we just felt this was best route for him to go.”

Wiggins is expected to be in Lawrence as soon as today. Per NCAA rules, he won’t be allowed to do media interviews until fully enrolled in and attending classes.

“I think the route he’s chosen to go is the right way because, after this year, he’s not going to have a lot of (down time). He’ll be playing on the national team and, hopefully, in the NBA ... he’s going to be fresh, he’s going to be healthy and his commitment is there as far as Canada Basketball,” Mitchell said.

Self discussed a delay in getting Wiggins to campus Friday on 810 radio WHB.

“With international kids, it’s not quite as easy getting student visas updated and a lot of other things updated that could potentially expire and make sure have no problems when you get here,” Self said.

“Also, he’s in a situation where you reclassify going from a junior to senior ... there’s things like the high school computer getting everything right on the transcript, some things going on that aren’t major. Trust me, they have nothing to do with him, but it’s been a little more time-consuming than we thought. There’s no reason to come until we get that stuff fixed. He couldn’t do anything when he got down here (until paperwork is in order).”

Recruiting: Charles Matthews, a 6-4 junior-to-be from Chicago St. Rita, tells Eric Bossi of Rivals.com he plans to visit KU for the Oct. 4 Late Night in the Phog. KU, Arizona and Illinois are believed to be atop the No. 9-rated player’s list, Bossi said. ... Kelly Oubre, a 6-5 senior from Bush High in Richmond, Texas, tells Bossi he likely will visit KU and Louisville. The No. 27-ranked Oubre is transferring to Findlay Prep in Nevada for the upcoming season.

Comments

Bryce Landon 10 months ago

Can we see J.D. Robertson donning the Crimson & Blue on a KU scholarship someday?

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Brett McCabe 10 months ago

Let's see....a McDonald's All American married a 5' 10" D1 soccer player....can we go ahead and offer all of their kids scholarships right now?

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Lance Meier 10 months ago

Always represented KU well...

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Suzi Marshall 10 months ago

This all reminds me how how shameful it was for MO to leave the Big 12.

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William Blake 10 months, 1 week ago

I was fortunate to have my cousin living in Lawrence. He located a nice, affordable apartment (near the campus) for me and a bud.

Memories... hmmm... I seem to remember all the craziness.

Wrapping one of my bros coat around his head as he power-puked in the Wheel, as we smuggled him out without raising too much attention. We were already on "probation" at the Wheel.

Finding anything flat to use as a snowboard down various streets after the snows and ice came.

Living in a constant state of "whiff" because one of our bros discovered someone's pot patch by Clinton Lake and felt the need to partially harvest and "spread the wealth" amongst us all. Pot tacos were the craze back then.

Playing basketball every morning in AFH.

Doing naughty things in Columbia and Manhattan.

Seeing how many people we could pack in and on top of a Karmann Ghia... everyone totally trashed... and deciding that was a good time to drag Mass Street. At that time the police looked the other way at all that stuff.

Clinton Lake... (I can't say more without incriminating myself)

Having my cool Asian neighbor who was named "Long Dong." It was on his mailbox and always attracted lots of comments.

Crashing as many parties as we could and trying to be cool enough to be accepted in the crowd. It usually worked, unless there was a jealous boyfriend causing trouble.

Learning to grill turkey legs in our oven and having herds of friends over for turkey legs and all the stuff that makes you dizzy.

Patching our apartment wall with toothpaste after someone kicked in the wall.

Last... attending class... and pretending to be clear-minded, and usually (somehow) being believable.

I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything else. I still meet with several remaining bros... the rest have gone on to AFH in the sky.

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wrwlumpy 10 months, 1 week ago

This from the Shiver 40 minutes ago.

Let him be treated as a fellow student on campus. Let him be a kid away from the court. My daughter told me stories that some of her sorority sister would wait in certain spots around campus because Raef would walk by. In an interview before the McD All Star game AW talked about that where ever he goes he hears people whisper after he walks by, "That's Andrew Wiggins".

He looks like a really, really good kid. Welcome to KU.

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wrwlumpy 10 months, 1 week ago

Ryan said that each time he would drive home to STL and back to Lawrence over his 4 years, it would be difficult to drive through Columbia until his senior year when KU won and immediately after the game Ryan ran to the Antlers area and put his hands on his hips and stood there as the Antlers screamed at him. Robertson was high scorer that day with 17. The game had been on TV and for some reason the Camera actually stayed on Ryan as he continued to smile at them. Then Eric Chenoweth came over to scream at the Antlers while Ryan walked away.

Why is that so many of these articles show us how good our memories are about the past, but remembering where your phone or keys are is very frustrating.

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STLJHawk1 10 months, 1 week ago

I live in St Louis and -- as such -- seen many a low moment from Tiger fans. However, I'd have to say that booing Ryan Robertson incessantly for four years has to rank as the most classless of all moves. (Even lower than the Antlers trick this year of creating a traffic jam in front of the Arkansas bus so the team would be delayed getting to the game... in order to stick it to Mike Anderson).

Ryan Robertson has to be one of the classiest, nicest people I've ever seen in the world of sports. There is no one who better exemplifies what a student athlete should be. Here's to hoping that all your kids become Jayhawks.

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kayjku 10 months, 1 week ago

Ryan was my college crush! How could you pick a mizzou girl over me! :)

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Jack Wilson 10 months, 1 week ago

Got to the message board late yesterday.

Still trying to comprehend Keegan predicting that Mason would start over Tharpe (saying Mason would start the most games at point -- he'd be surprised if that didn't happen). Then listing his starters to include Mason.

With all due respect, Keegan's opinion without any rational basis here. If Keegan has an inside source, ok. But if that was the case, Tharpe would have transferred. Seriously, if someone inside KU hoops was so sure that Mason would start, Tharpe would know that. And why would you stick around if you were Tharpe, heading into your junior season if you won't start the next two seasons? So there is no inside source. And there has never been any indication in any other "story" that Keegan has an inside source.

Further, last July, Keegan was on the Jamari Traylor bandwagon claiming it was conceivable that he'd make the most impact of all of the freshmen, and that he was the best fit next to Withey. But look at the basis for that opinion. Keegan said "Jamari Traylor, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound red-shirt freshman from Chicago, hits the boards and anybody in his way hard. He’s explosive, runs the floor well and has the look of a guy who will play with a mean streak. Practices are closed to the media, so his game remains a mystery, but those who played against him and with him in practice raved about his explosiveness and strength."

So, he never actually saw him play.

Here's how Keegan answers the question of "why" when suggesting Mason would start more games at point than any other player "He’s physically developed beyond his years, is explosive and has a natural feel for how to put pressure on a defense and set up a teammate when defenders collapse. Mason’s a pure point guard, something Kansas didn’t have last year."

Ok, how much has Keegan actually watched Mason. Right, the scrimmage. He watched one scrimmage.

Keegan says KU did not have a point guard last season. Hmmm. Here's what he said about Tharpe in February - "Tharpe put extraordinary pressure on the defense, sending passes in all directions." And "... he did a brilliant job of doing what point guards are supposed to do, which is to bring out the best in the other four players on the floor."

This was a story about how Tharpe played a big part in ending KU's three game losing streak. To be fair, it didn't mean Keegan was sold on Tharpe. But I would argue that starting in early December, Tharpe did exactly what Keegan said he did in the game reported on -- and did so very consistently.

I'm not saying the guy isn't entitled to his opinion. He is. But what I think is reasonable is to give us something of substance to back up the opinion. For KU fans, to hear the sports editor say Mason will start over the junior Tharpe is a big deal. It deserves much more than we got.

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Tony Bandle 10 months, 1 week ago

September of 1966, my Mom and Dad dropped me off at KU to start my college career. After they spent the day with me meeting my roommate, checking out my Hall, they took off. I can still remember that feeling as they drove away down 14th Street.....Holy Crap, I am truly on my own!! It was a daunting feeling, to say the least.

But by the next day, I knew I had made the right decision..a five year decision that has had nothing but positive effects on my life from that day till present. [PS architecture is a five year program...I didn't dog it for a year. :) ]

Anyway, Andrew will truly understand when he get into Lawrence for good that he too has made a very, very good decision.

Also, I wanted to foillow up JB's post because in one form or another, I think we all went through a similar experience. Although I have to make the point that my time at KU, 1966-71 probably saw the greatest transition in University Life. In 1966 someone burnt down an effigy of the football coach...in 1970, someone burnt down the Student Union.

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jaybate 10 months, 1 week ago

• Each year at this time, when the players come to Lawrence, I recall what a gigantic moment it was, when I loaded up my old car and drove only 40 miles to Lawrence to "start my life," as I recall thinking to myself. It felt momentous, like the beginning of the voyages of my own private star ship enterprise.

In some ways I look back and think how silly I was, for I was so much so, but in truth it really was the beginning of the voyage of my one small life in this tiny world in this universe in the journey that ends for all in unforgiving, usually gruesome, uncontrollable, and generally profoundly crappy death, regardless of what one believes may, or may not, come after.

I know these young basketball players are effectively supermen in comparison to what I once was (and remain); that they are remotely observed, statistically improbable outliers in talent and work ethic; that they will live lives that exceed mine in many ways. And yet this much we share, this team we are both on: we have both--they and me--we--have cast off for Lawrence--have started the voyage by a sail there.

"And then went down to the ship..."

It was for a brief moment, so very lonely. I could think of it only briefly as I drove away from my folks house--the white house with black shutters.

And then the adventure began and the great camaraderie of young men and women trying to find their ways began and then the life was on.

And it never ends until the end.

Take your time Andrew. Savor your moments and your place together, mother and father Wiggins. All one really has is time and place for a short time.

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Jesse Johnson 10 months, 1 week ago

"...and, hopefully, in the NBA ..."

I see where Andrew gets his humble attitude from. Dear Mitchell, no worries, rest assured your son will play in the NBA for many years.

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David Leathers 10 months, 1 week ago

You know, Wiggins was cool until...

Ok, he's still pretty awesome.

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David Leathers 10 months, 1 week ago

You know, Ryan Robertson was cool until he married a Tigress. Shame on you Ryan, shame on you!

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