Katrina Robinson: Emerging in the paint
Blocking the baseline and stopping defenders, are just two of the reasons why sophomore Katrina Robinson has emerged this preseason as a key defender in the low post. After dedicating time and focus in the weight room this off-season, the 6-2 Robinson is ready to lends her skills, confidence and game-experience to frontcourt.
Robinson has a natural gift -the ability to play defense. In her first year of collegiate play last winter, she was counted on for her explosive defensive sequences, a skill she claims just comes naturally to her.
“In high school I remember I broke a record for blocked shots in one game with 17,” she noted. “Defense is just fun to me because you get to stop a top player and not let them score. That is how you win games.”
With growing confidence and increasing strength, Robinson is emerging as one of the go-to people in guiding the new freshmen posts.
“I try to lead by example by emphasizing everything we do and in explaining to them the importance of doing everything right the first time,” Robinson said. “If it's a quick stop or a chin on the ball, I try to do it perfect so they can see me.”
When Robinson came to Texas in the fall of 2003, she wasn't acclimated to the intensity and hard work this program demanded. It was an eye-opening experience for the South Grand Prairie native, who spent her first year as a medical redshirt, watching the game unfold from the bench.
“College, period, is a different level than anything you’ve ever seen,” Robinson said. “You have to get ready to compete against players who are better and quicker than you in both practice and in games. It is quite an adjustment.”
“When I was in high school, I didn't have to do anything out of the ordinary - no running or lifting. Honestly, it’s taken me the first couple of years here at UT to really get used to running and lifting and in wanting to put in the extra effort. I am so far ahead of where I was [last year], and I am really happy with myself.”
Longhorns Associate Head Coach Karen Aston fully agrees. “Katrina's confidence has increased tremendously,” Aston noted. “Because she has demonstrated leadership with the new freshmen, it has brought her confidence to a level that she might not have had last year.
“Katrina also has improved immensely on is her strength and conditioning. I know she spent a lot of time this summer in the weight room, and it has really paid off. Katrina also is spending a lot of time working one-on-one with the coaches improve her perimeter game and her shot, even though she is a post,” Aston concluded.
When Robinson isn't working extra in the weight room or on the court, you can find her out around Austin with her teammates.
“When we go on our team bonding trips, we like to go get pedicures, or go to the movies or go out to eat”, said Robinson. “Oh, and you can't forget about all of us hanging out watching 'Martin.' We recite lines from 'Martin' (the TV show) every day in the locker room!”
Being close with her teammates allows her to fill a role as a team motivator. Robinson is constantly trying to keep her fellow teammates smiling and positive at practice.
“I'm always talking, even if they're not on my team I am trying to make them laugh if they are feeling down,” she says.
And although she puts a lot of effort into keeping her team optimistic and happy, she strives even harder to keep those same teammates out of her “paint” when she is on defense, because, after all, that's what Robinson’s game is all about.
“I always tell Nina [Norman], don't come in the paint, because if she comes in, I am going to have to 'beat her shot up,' (block her shot).” Robinson laughed. “I make sure no one comes in the paint while I'm in there”.
This “take no prisoners” is Robinson’s new signature style of play for 2005-06.