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Gregory “Diego” Robinson is poised to lead the Raiders on a national title run

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GRCC Raiders men's basketball player Gregory "Diego" Robinson during the teams media day on Fri., Oct. 19 in the GRCC Science Building. (Aaron Stoner/The Collegiate)

By Deanna Bergers

Grand Rapids Community College sophomore Gregory “Diego” Robinson, 19, of Lansing is ready to start the 2018-2019 basketball season and play against some highly anticipated teams.

“I can’t wait to play Ferris State and Muskegon Community College,” Robinson said.

Robinson is a native of Lansing, but was recruited by GRCC’s men’s basketball coach Luke Bronkema and chose to begin his college basketball career in Grand Rapids.

Robinson attended Everett High School in Lansing, where he had the challenge of playing on the basketball team with a member of his family.

“Sophomore year of high school, I had to play behind my cousin,” Robinson said. “I wasn’t playing at all and it messed with my confidence.”

Desmond Ferguson, the boy’s basketball coach at Everett High School, was like a father figure to Robinson.

The leadership of coach Ferguson, combined with inspiration from NBA star LeBron James and former-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, is what motivated Robinson to continue his career in sports.

Getting to play in front of a crowd is one of Robinson’s favorite things about playing basketball at GRCC. He stated that the camaraderie, playing with his teammates and having a goal is the best part of playing for a team.

Adjusting to the life of a college athlete can be a challenge, and Robinson has experienced pressure to be conscious and do the right thing.

“Sometimes you just gotta choose the right thing to do, (like) not hanging out with your friends on the weekends and when you have practice,” Robinson explained.

This work ethic is seen first hand by GRCC athletic director Bill Firn, who described Robinson’s passion for the game and for his teammates.

“When Diego is on the court, he gives everything he has,” Firn stated in an email to The Collegiate. “He’s now a tremendous rebounder and a defensive leader.”

The GRCC men’s basketball team has set goals for this season and hope to bring home a championship. Robinson’s looking to be vocal, average double figures, and be a good leader amongst his teammates.

“From what I’ve seen so far, they are doing a much better job of playing as a team than in years past,” Firn said in regards to this season’s team. “I’m really looking forward to watching this team grow together and push for another district championship.”

Robinson is aware of what he and his teammates need to do in order to make that playoff appearance a reality.

“Listen to coach, play defense night in and night out, execute on offense and we’ll reach our goals,” Robinson said.

Robinson enjoys playing basketball at the YMCA with his friends and others from his community during his free time. Robinson is a big Michigan State basketball fan and his favorite NBA team is the Los Angeles Lakers.

When Robinson is finished at GRCC, he’d like to attend Ferris State University or Grand Valley State University and continue playing basketball there.

As for a career in the NBA, Robinson said, “If (basketball) takes me there, I’ll take the opportunity. My goal is to get a degree first.”