WEST LAFAYETTE – How could joy and a bit of disappointment occur at the same time?
When your son helped to beat your Alma Mater in a dramatic ending.
This was the predicament for Glenn Robinson as he watched the finish of Purdue’s game against 16th-ranked Michigan on Wednesday afternoon. While having pride in his deep Boilermaker roots, he also was rooting on his son, Glenn Robinson III, as his Wolverines were hoping for a victory.
“It’s mixed feelings,” said Robinson obviously of the evening in West Lafayette, especially when the game finished up.
As fate would have it, with the older Robinson in attendance, Glenn III would hit the game winning field goal with no time remaining in overtime to thwart a potential Purdue upset and give Michigan a thrilling 77-76 win over the Boilermakers.
Robinson made a great play to catch a long inbounds pass and then managed to get the ball up between defenders before it finally rolled into the hoop for the game-winning points.
“When the ball was rolling around on the rim, I was just praying it would go in,” said Robinson III-and so was his father.
While his ties to the Purdue run deep as a former All-American and Naismith Player of the Year award (1994), there was no doubt that family came first for Robinson at that moment.
“It was a great moment for me,” said Robinson of his son’s game-winning shot. “I remember making a couple of shots like that in my day, in my time. It was good.”
At the same time, Robinson was quick to praise his former team for their effort in what has been a rough season for Matt Painter. A win over Michigan would have been the biggest of the season for another young Boilermakers’ team and they played above their age for the majority of the evening.
Purdue led by as many as 19 points in the first half and were up 13 points at the break until Michigan made their run to tie the game in the final minute of regulation. The Boilers were winning the game in the extra session until his son’s final shot rolled in.
“Hey, Purdue played well, Michigan played well. I’ll always root for Purdue too,” said Robinson. “But tonight I would rather see them lose by one point. Play well, but just lose by one.”
Indeed that happened and much to the pleasure of Glenn Robinson III. With his father’s history at Mackey Arena, coming to Purdue for a game always takes on significant meaning for the sophomore from St. John, Indiana.
“My teammates know how much this game meant to me, especially my dad playing here and me being from Indiana,” said Robinson. “I thought they did a good job of just never giving up on this game. We competed hard and came out with the victory.”
Robinson played a major part outside of the game winning shot. He scored 14 of his 17 points during the second half and overtime to help the Wolverines and erase Purdue’s 13-point halftime advantage. It’s indicative of his strong sophomore season in which he is averaging 13 points a game and 4.4 rebounds a contest, which followed a freshman season in which he scored 11 points a game to help the Wolverines to the NCAA Championship game.
Watching him succeed is something that brings pride to his father, who followed his successful career at Purdue with an 11-year NBA career.
“He’s doing well, he’s working hard, he has a lot of pressure on him,” said Robinson of his son. “He’s just continuing to go out and improve and get better in every aspect of the game.”
In the process, he’s made things happily uncomfortable when he returns to West Lafayette.