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“I share that story just because if one kid has the talent to bring enough college coaches, everybody has a unique opportunity to get looks, too,” Robinson told The Times. “It’s about development and you don’t have to be the best. It could be D-3, D-2, D-1 — we want to get that school paid for free. You can do that on an AAU circuit just by playing well against people who are supposedly ranked really high. All it takes is one game and one look.”
Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson, a star at Roosevelt, Purdue and eventual No. 1 NBA Draft pick, will be a part of the program along with Glenn’s mom, Shantelle Clay. “When I told him about this and obviously getting older — he just turned 49 — it’s crazy to see him getting older and he’s constantly wanting to give back,” Robinson said of his father, who lives in Atlanta. “He’s constantly telling me stories to empower other kids, what he did in his daily routines, how he was able to be successful in college and the league.”
FC Dallas has nine homegrown players on its roster, including Jesus Ferreira, a 16-year-old who recently became the second-youngest player in MLS history to score a goal. Its academy is the envy of every MLS club. And it might be coming to the NBA. “I think [FC Dallas] is doing it right. That is our future. We have to get AAU out of the mix,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told me over email.
If Cuban has his way, NBA teams will soon be setting up the same infrastructure in the States. He is looking for a location in the Dallas area to set up a campus. “I have been pushing for it for 10 years, but the NBA hadn’t come around to it yet,” Cuban said. “The idea is to get kids and families excited about basketball and the Mavs, and to help kids of all skill levels get better training without some of the extraneous interference.”