Less than two weeks after Nick Robinson announced he would be leaving the St. Joseph’s men’s basketball team, the guard has chosen Valparaiso as his destination.
St. Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli said on June 29 that Robinson’s decision to leave was because of “family circumstances,” leading to speculation that Robinson would head to a university closer to his native Chicago. Valparaiso is a one-hour drive from Kenwood Academy, where Robinson attended high school.
Valparaiso made Robinson’s transfer official Monday morning; the Chicago-Tribune had first reported the news Friday night. Robinson has two years of eligibility remaining, but according to NCAA transfer rules, he will have to sit out the 2018-19 season.
“We’ve known Nick for a long time, since we recruited him originally out of high school,” Crusaders coach Matt Lottich said in a statement. “We love his versatility and really believe he embodies all the qualities we look for in a Valpo basketball player. We are excited for Nick to use this upcoming year to take the next step in his game, develop physically and fine-tune his skills so he’s ready to make a big impact for us when he becomes eligible.”
Losing Robinson deals a big blow to St. Joseph’s guard depth. The 6-foot-6 ball handler emerged as a reliable and efficient scorer during the stretch run of the 2017-18 season — he scored double-digit points in each of the Hawks’ last seven games, earning him the team’s most improved player award — and likely would have moved into a starting role this fall. He averaged 7.7 points in his sophomore season.
Instead, Robinson will help fill a position of need for Valparaiso. The Crusaders finished last in the Missouri Valley Conference this past season and lost starting guard and leading scorer Tevonn Walker to graduation.