Pat Robinson III led Conwell-Egan High and the entire Philadelphia Catholic League in scoring, but there was still not a single Division I scholarship offer that came his way.
He went out with the Northeast Basketball Club on the AAU circuit with one final hope, but there was still nothing. He was set to attend Combine Academy and pay $10,000 for a year at prep school but then he finally got a call.
Division II’s Holy Family in Philadelphia decided to give him an opportunity.
“I can’t guarantee you’ll play,” former Holy Family coach R.C. Kehoe told him. “You’re the last one on the team.”
It was so late that Robinson didn’t even get a food plan or housing the first semester. He pushed a couple of couches together in his teammates’ apartment. Robinson was the CACC Rookie of the Year, and wound up getting housing and a meal plan the second semester.
“It was the best thing ever,” Robinson said. “I had my own room.”
After the season, Kehoe was fired and Robinson decided to go elsewhere. He had interest from Western Carolina and UTRGV, but didn’t want to sit for a season. So instead he went to D-II West Liberty.
He spent three seasons there — teaming with Charleston’s current leading scorer Dalton Bolon for two — and left with 1,677 points.
Robinson hit the portal again, and this time he got the D-I offers he desperately wanted years prior coming out of high school. Indiana State, Stetson, UC San Diego and Charleston were all in pursuit. He obviously had a connection with Bolon being at Charleston, and that was his only visit.
“The facilities was one big thing, I knew there was a lot to build on after their first year here,” Robinson said. “I knew Dalton and wanted to play with him again. He and I back playing together in Division I — we always talked about it. It’s a dream come true.”
Robinson made his presence felt early this season at his new spot, with 14 points in a loss to North Carolina. But his biggest moment to date in a Cougars uniform came in the title game of the Charleston Classic, when he sank the game-winner with three seconds left.
“Pat’s a dog. Nasty competitor,” Pat Kelsey said. “When the game’s on the line, we’ve put the ball in his hands on several ocassions. Could easily start for us, but an example of what makes us good. Totally selfless.”