Often times, parents of athletes, particularly star athletes, have a difficult time knowing how to negotiate being a supportive parent and not attempting to overstep their boundaries by attempting to coach their children from the sidelines. This is especially difficult when the parent was a star player in that sport as a youth.
Marcus Robinson Sr. experienced this feeling first hand when his son, Marcus Jr., was a star basketball player at Kingsway a few years ago. However, he did a masterful job of supporting his son and the team while not being intrusive.
With his son now starring at Wilkes University, it appeared that his days as a regular spectator at Kingsway boys’ basketball games were over. If anything, it appeared that he would be spending all of his time watching his sophomore daughter, Morgan, star for the Kingsway girls’ basketball, cross country, and track teams.
However, the connection between Robinson Sr. and boys’ basketball simply was too strong.
He now has been afforded the opportunity to see things from the “other side” of the court. This summer, Marcus Robinson Sr. was hired as the head boys’ basketball coach at Kingsway, succeeding Drew Owens who had a successful tenure as coach himself.
Robinson was a star basketball player at Salem in the late 1980s. Known for his shooting touch, he ended his career at Salem as the second greatest scorer in school history, scoring 1,703 points. He was the state’s leading scorer his senior year, averaging 34.7 points per game. He later moved on to Coppin State, where he led them to an NCAA tournament berth.
In 2006 he was named the head coach at Salem County Community College. He also has been active in the area as a recreational league coach, having met many of his current players during their youth days.
It was during this time that he taught players such as his son, Marcus, sound shooting technique, which has helped propel many local basketball players to high school prominence.
Impacting young men always has been his calling.
“I’ve watched so many of these young men grow up, either around the local rec leagues or on teams with my son,” said Robinson. “I take great joy in watching them grow into young men who can pay it forward and contribute at their next stops. My new role allows me to further impact young people in our community.”
“As for my goals, I want these student athletes to have a true love for the game and learn to gel as a unit,” Robinson continued. “With the youth that we currently have on this roster, I am excited about our present and future.”
Athletic Director June Cioffi acknowledged that Robinson has been a steady force in the community for some time and relished the opportunity to bring him on board.
“Coach Robinson has a tremendous reputation in our community,” said Cioffi. “He is a Kingsway man who truly has the respect of others. His coaching experiences at the youth and collegiate levels give him a broad prospective.”
That coaching experience, as well as his experiences as a parent of a former boys’ basketball star at Kingsway, seems to indicate that the official pairing of Coach Robinson and Kingsway boys basketball should be a fruitful one.
By Christian Lynch