The small forward known as the three, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are shorter and leaner than power forwards and centers, but taller and larger than either of the guard positions; the small forward is considered to be the most versatile of the five main basketball positions. In the NBA, small forwards range from 6' 6" to 6' 10" while in the WNBA, small forwards are between 5' 11" to 6' 2". Small forwards are responsible for scoring points, defending and as secondary or tertiary rebounders behind the power forward and center, although a few have considerable passing responsibilities. Many small forwards in professional basketball are prolific scorers; the styles with which small forwards amass their points vary widely. Some players at the position are accurate shooters, others prefer to initiate physical contact with opposing players, still others are slashers who possess jump shots. In some cases, small forwards position as off-the-ball specialists.
Small forwards who are defensive specialists are versatile as they can guard multiple positions using their size and strength
Jerome Kersey was an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association. He played for the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle SuperSonics, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks; the Trail Blazers selected Kersey in the second round of the 1984 NBA draft from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. He was a member of the Spurs during their 1999 NBA Finals victory over the New York Knicks. Following his playing career, Kersey worked with his former Portland teammate and then-head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks Terry Porter as an assistant in 2005. Kersey died from a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot at his home in Tualatin, Oregon, on February 18, 2015. Kersey attended the Longwood College, at the time a NCAA Division II school, where he set school records for points, rebounds and blocked shots while making 57% of his baskets; as a senior, his rebounding average of 14.2 led all Division II players. However, it was not until May 2006 that Kersey graduated from Longwood, having only needed two more college courses to graduate for some years.
Coming from a school, not known as a basketball powerhouse, Kersey was selected in the second round of the 1984 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. He was a regular contributor from the bench becoming a starter, by his third year, he began to shine coming in second behind Michael Jordan in the Slam Dunk Contest; the 1987 -- 88 season, was his best statistically, as he averaged 8.3 rebounds. He became a starter and was part of the nucleus of a strong Portland team, along with Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Buck Williams, Kevin Duckworth that made it to the NBA Finals two out of the next three years. However, in subsequent years Clifford Robinson would take his place and Kersey found himself spending more time on the bench. By 1995, Portland had several talented forwards, he was left unprotected in that year's expansion draft when he was selected by the Toronto Raptors, but they waived him before the 1995–96 season began, he signed with the Golden State Warriors, where he started 58 games, had an altercation with Latrell Sprewell, which resulted in the latter threatening to bring a gun to practice.
For the 1996–97 season Kersey signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent, he had a quite productive year, logging his most playing time in five seasons, because trades and injuries had left the Lakers thin. The 1997–98 season saw him go to his fourth team in four years, but injuries kept him out of the Seattle SuperSonics' lineup for most of the season. For the lockout-shortened 1998–99 season, Kersey found himself on the San Antonio Spurs, providing front court depth and experience off the bench in the team's title run, although his scoring and minutes played were all career lows, he stayed with the Spurs for another season, on the hunt for one last NBA title, spent one final season in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks, who fell short in the Eastern Conference Finals. He retired at the conclusion of the 2000–01 season; as a Portland Trail Blazer, Kersey was near the top in many of Portland's career categories at the time of his leaving, including games played, minutes played, rebounding, steals, field goals made, blocked shots.
Following his retirement in 2001, Kersey served as a coach in various capacities for several teams. For a short time, Kersey worked for Wells Fargo home mortgages. During the 2003–04 NBA season, Kersey was hired by the Trail Blazers to serve as director of player programs. After a season in that capacity, Kersey was hired as an assistant coach by the Milwaukee Bucks, where he served under his former Portland teammate, head coach Terry Porter, he served with the Bucks for one year, but was let go on May 6, 2005. Porter was subsequently fired as the Bucks' coach that year. For a period of time following, Kersey joined the automotive industry as an auto wholesaler. In November 2005, Kersey was in Longwood's first Hall of Fame class. Others included LPGA golfer Tina Barrett. In 2008, Kersey was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and was selected to receive the 2015 recipient of the William Henry Ruffner Alumni Award, the highest award given to a Longwood alumni; the court at Willett Hall, Longwood's basketball facility, was posthumously named in his honor on December 3, 2016.
Kersey married his girlfriend of over 9 years, Teri Donnerberg, on September 21, 2013, at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Oregon. Together, they have four children from previous relationships. Kersey has one daughter with a younger sibling from previous relationship to Anjela Stellato. Daughter Kiara, with younger sibling Milan Coate, one granddaughter, Harley Rae. Teri Kersey has three children from a previous marriage: two daughters and Maddie, one son, Brendan. On February 18, 2015, Kersey died at the age of 52. Lake Oswego Fire Department responded to a call from Kersey's home shortly after 5 pm, he was taken to Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in Tualatin, Oregon where he died. Just days prior to his death, Kersey underwent knee surgery. On the day of his death, he left the Trail Blazers' Rose Quarter office because he was not feeling well. Medical examiners linked his death to a blood clot that traveled to his lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. NBA biography of Kersey Article in Portland Tribune (Tuesday, August
Timothy Theodore Duncan is an American former professional basketball player. He spent his entire 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. Duncan started out as a swimmer, did not begin playing basketball until ninth grade, he played basketball for St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School. In college, Duncan played for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, winning the Naismith College Player of the Year, USBWA College Player of the Year, John Wooden awards in his senior year. After graduating from college, Duncan earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors after being selected by San Antonio with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft. Regarded as the greatest power forward of all time as well as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he is a five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA MVP, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, a 15-time NBA All-Star, the only player to be selected to both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams for 13 consecutive seasons. Off the court, Duncan is known for his active philanthropy.
He holds a degree in psychology and created the Tim Duncan Foundation to raise general health awareness and fund education and youth sports in various parts of the United States. Tim Duncan is the son of Ione, a midwife, William Duncan, a mason, he has two older sisters and Tricia, one older brother, Scott, a film director and cinematographer. He was born and raised on Saint Croix, one of the main islands composing the U. S. Virgin Islands. In school, Duncan was a bright pupil and dreamt of becoming an Olympic-level swimmer like his sister Tricia, his parents were supportive and Duncan excelled at swimming, becoming a teenage standout in the 50, 100 and 400 meters freestyle and aiming to make the 1992 Olympic Games as a member of the United States Team. When Hurricane Hugo destroyed the island's only Olympic-sized swimming pool in 1989, Duncan was forced to swim in the ocean and he lost his enthusiasm for swimming because of his fear of sharks. Duncan was dealt another emotional blow when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and died one day before his 14th birthday.
In her last days, she made Duncan and his sisters promise to finish college with a degree, which would explain Duncan's refusal to leave college early. Duncan was inspired by his brother-in-law to turn to basketball. Duncan had difficulties adapting to the game he thought would help relieve his pain and frustration. Nancy Pomroy, the athletic director of the St. Croix Country Day School was quoted: " was so huge. So big and tall, but he was awfully awkward at the time." He overcame this to become a standout for the St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School, averaging 25 points per game as a senior, his play attracted the attention of several universities, despite having only picked up the game in ninth grade. Wake Forest University basketball coach Dave Odom in particular grew interested in Duncan after the 16-year-old played NBA star Alonzo Mourning to a draw in a 5-on-5 pick-up game. Odom was searching for a physical player to play near the basket. Given the weak level of basketball in the Virgin Islands, Odom was wary about Duncan at first after first meeting him and thinking him to be inattentive.
However, after the first talk, Odom understood that this was just Duncan's way of paying attention, discovered that he was not only athletically talented, but a quick learner. Despite scholarship offers by the University of Hartford, the University of Delaware and Providence College, Duncan joined Odom's Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In the year before Duncan's arrival at Wake Forest University, the Demon Deacons reached the Sweet 16, but lost main scorer Rodney Rogers, who entered the 1993 NBA draft. In the 1993–94 NCAA season, Coach Dave Odom was considering redshirting Duncan, but was forced to play him after fellow freshman big man Makhtar N'Diaye was ruled out due to NCAA rules violations and transferred to Michigan. Duncan struggled with early transition problems and was held scoreless in his first college game, but as the year progressed, he and teammate Randolph Childress led the Deacons to a 20–11 win-loss record. Duncan's style of play was simple but effective, combining an array of low-post moves, mid-range bank shots and tough defense.
He was chosen to represent the U. S. in the 1994 Goodwill Games. Meanwhile, Duncan worked towards a degree in psychology and took classes in anthropology and Chinese literature. Despite focusing on basketball, Wake Forest psychology department chairperson Deborah Best was quoted: "Tim was one of my more intellectual students. Other than his height, I couldn't tell him from any other student at Wake Forest." Duncan established his reputation as a stoic player, to the extent that opposing fans taunted him as "Mr. Spock", the prototypical logical, detached character from Star Trek. In the 1994–95 NCAA season, the sophomore was soon called one of the best eligible NBA prospects, along with his peers Joe Smith, Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse. Los Angeles Lakers general manager Jerry West suggested that Duncan might become the top pick in the 1995 NBA draft if he went early, but Duncan assured everyone he had no intention of going pro until he graduated though the NBA was planning to add a rookie salary cap in 1996.
He was determined to stay in school. In that season, he led the Demon Deacons into the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against a Rasheed Wall
The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. The Kings compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Western Conference's Pacific Division; the Kings are the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues located in Sacramento. The team plays its home games at the Golden 1 Center; the Kings are one of the oldest continuously operating professional basketball franchises in the nation. They originated in Rochester, New York, as the Rochester Seagrams in 1923 and joined the National Basketball League in 1945 as the Rochester Royals, they jumped to the Basketball Association of America, forerunner of the NBA, in 1948. As the Royals, the team was successful on the court, winning the NBA championship in 1951; the team, found it difficult to turn a profit in the comparatively small market of Rochester and relocated to Cincinnati in 1957, becoming the Cincinnati Royals. In 1972 the team relocated to Kansas City and was renamed the Kansas City-Omaha Kings because it split its home games between Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1975, the Kings ceased playing home games in Omaha and became the Kansas City Kings. The team again failed to find success in its market and moved to Sacramento in 1985; the Royals defected to the NBL's rival, the Basketball Association of America, in 1948. In 1949, as a result of that year's absorption of the NBL by the BAA, the Royals became members of the newly formed NBA along with the Fort Wayne Pistons, Minneapolis Lakers, Indianapolis Jets. A year the BAA absorbed the remaining NBL teams to become the National Basketball Association; the move to the BAA took away Rochester's profitable exhibition schedule, placed it in the same Western Division that Minneapolis was in. Of the two best teams in pro basketball, only one of them could play in the league finals from 1949 to 1954. Minneapolis, with George Mikan, was always a little better at playoff time than the Royals. With their smallish arena and now-limited schedule, the Royals became less profitable as Harrison maintained a remarkably high standard for the team, which finished no lower than second in its division in both the NBL and BAA/NBA from 1945 to 1954.
Harrison knew that the NBA was outgrowing Rochester, spent most of the 1950s looking for a buyer for his team. The Royals won the NBA title in 1951 by defeating the New York Knicks 4–3, it is the only NBA championship in the franchise's history. The title, did not translate into profit for the Royals; the roster turned over except for Bobby Wanzer. Now a losing team filled with rookies, the Royals still did not turn a profit. Meanwhile, the NBA was putting pressure on Harrison to relocate his team to a larger city. With this in mind, the 1956–57 season was the Royals' last in Rochester; the Royals' stay in Rochester featured the services of nine future members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, one member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a Hollywood Walk of Famer: Al Cervi, Bob Davies, Alex Hannum, Les Harrison, Red Holzman, Arnie Risen, Maurice Stokes, Jack Twyman, Bobby Wanzer, Otto Graham, Chuck Connors and Jack McMahon. In April 1957, the Harrison brothers moved the Royals to Cincinnati; this move followed a well-received regular season game played at Cincinnati Gardens on February 1, 1957.
The change of venue had been said to have been suggested by Jack Twyman and Dave Piontek, who were two of several roster players on the new Royals from that region. Cincinnati, which had a strong college basketball fan base and no NFL franchise to compete with, was deemed the best choice for the Harrisons; the Royals name continued to fit in Cincinnati known as the "Queen City". During the team's first NBA draft in Cincinnati, the team acquired Clyde Lovellette and guard George King, they teamed with the 1–2 punch of Maurice Stokes and Twyman to produce a budding contender in the team's first season in the Queen City. Injury to Marshall and the loss of star guard Si Green to military service dropped the team into a tie for second place in the NBA Western Division during the 1957–58 season's second half. In the season's finale, All-Pro star Maurice Stokes struck his head when he fell after pursuing a rebound, he shook off the effects of the fall as he had been unconscious. After Game One in the playoffs three days Stokes' head injury was aggravated by airplane cabin pressure during the flight back to Cincinnati for Game Two.
He suffered a seizure and was permanently hospitalized, a tragedy that shook the team. Stokes, a tremendous talent who could play center and guard, was 2nd in the NBA in rebounds and 3rd in assists, a double-feat only Wilt Chamberlain has matched for a full season. Without Stokes, the team nearly folded. Fellow All-Star Twyman rose to All-Pro level the next two seasons for Cincinnati as the team posted two 19-win seasons; the 1958–59 Cincinnati team featured five rookies, with Lovellette and other key players having left the team in the wake of Stokes' tragic injury. The Harrisons, under pressure to sell to a local group, sold to a local ownership headed by Thomas Woods; the fact that Stokes was dumped by the team and the new ownership infuriated many. Jack Twyman came to the aid of his teammate, legally adopted Stokes. Raising funds for Stokes' medical treatment, Twyman helped him until his death in April 1970; the 1973 feature film Maurie, which co-starred actors Bernie Casey and Bo Svenson, dramatized their story.
Shooting for the beleaguered team, Twyman was the second NBA player to average 30 points per game for an NBA season. Twyman and Stokes were late
Andrew Barry Casson Gaze, AM is an Australian former professional basketball player and former head coach of the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League. He has been described as one of the greatest players Australia has produced. Gaze played every season for the Melbourne Tigers, between 1985 and 2005 and won the league's MVP award on seven occasions, he guided the Tigers to two NBL championships, in 1993 and 1997, was named an All-NBL first team member every year between 1986 and 2000, a feat matched by no other player in NBL history. Gaze led the senior Australian national team, the Boomers, to five Summer Olympic Games – including as the flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he was the Australian Team Captain, he was inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2005, after becoming a member of the Order of Australia in 2002. In 2013, he joined his father, Lindsay, in the FIBA Hall of Fame, to become just the third Australian inductee.
Two Australian basketball awards have been named in Gaze's honour: the NBL MVP award is named the Andrew Gaze Trophy, the Australian International Player of the Year award is named the Gaze Medal. Gaze was born in Melbourne, the son of Lindsay and Margaret Gaze, has an older sister, Janet. Gaze is the nephew of former Australian Opals coach Tony Gaze and the cousin of Mark Gaze, who played 182 games in the NBL from 1983–1991 and represented Australia at the 1982 FIBA World Championship, he is the second cousin of Canberra Capitals guard Kate Gaze, the daughter of Mark Gaze and former WNBL player Michelle O'Connor. Gaze grew up at Albert Park Basketball Stadium, the home of the Victorian Basketball Association, with his father the general manager of the VBA at the time. After graduating from Albert Park College, Gaze pursued a professional basketball career and attended Victoria University in Melbourne. In 1984, Gaze joined the Melbourne Tigers of the National Basketball League as an 18-year-old.
His first season with the Tigers saw him win the NBL Rookie of the Year Award after averaging an impressive 29.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.6 steals in 24 games. By 1986, he made his first All-NBL First Team selection, he would go on to earn first-team honours in 15 straight seasons. In the 1987 NBL season, Gaze set a still standing NBL record for average points per game in a season when he averaged 44.1 points, breaking the previous record of 39.5 ppg set by Al Green of the West Adelaide Bearcats in 1984. This was despite the Tigers finishing on the bottom of the 1987 NBL ladder with a 3–23 record; such was Gaze's dominance for the Tigers that while he averaged 44.1 ppg, the Tigers themselves only managed 101.3 ppg for the season. During 1987, Gaze had another five times he scored over 50 points, his dominance on the scoreboard wasn't just limited to scoring against other poorly performed teams. He twice scored. Following the 1988 NBL season, spotted by talent scouts while playing for Australia at the 1988 Olympics, moved to the United States after being recruited to play college basketball for Seton Hall University.
During the 1988–89 season, Gaze played in 38 games for the Seton Hall Pirates, averaging 13.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. After completing his season at Seton Hall with an 80–79 overtime loss to the Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA Championship Game, played in front of 39,187 fans at the Kingdome in Seattle, Gaze returned to Australia and re-joined the Tigers for the 1989 NBL season. Not known for being an outstanding athlete, Gaze's heavy scoring in the NBL was due to exceptional shooting, including from three-point range. A crowd favourite to the Tigers faithful, Gaze was a front runner in the league's resurgence during the 1990s, as he and American import Lanard Copeland combined to form a formidable backcourt and guided the Tigers to two championships in 1993 and 1997. Playing under his father with the Tigers, Gaze assured. In addition to playing in the NBL, Gaze spent multiple seasons overseas during the 1990s. In 1991, Gaze became the first Australian to play professionally in Europe, with the Italian League club side, Udine.
In a six-month stint in Italy, he averaged over 30 points per game. In March 1994, Gaze signed with the NBA's Washington Bullets. In seven games for the Bullets during the 1993–94 NBA season, he averaged 3.1 points per game. In early 1995, he moved to Greece and played half a season for the Greek Basket League club Apollon Patras, he had another short stint in the NBA during the lockout-shortened 1998–99 season, this time with the San Antonio Spurs. He received little court time for a stacked Spurs team that included guards Mario Elie, Avery Johnson, Antonio Daniels and Steve Kerr, he appeared in just 19 games for the Spurs during the regular season and was inactive for the entire playoff run which saw the Spurs win their first NBA championship. In his years, Gaze still managed to score at a high clip for the Tigers, averaging over 19 points per game in each of his last four NBL seasons. Following the 2004–05 NBL season, Gaze announced his retirement from the NBL. In 20 seasons with the Tigers, he played a total of 612 games and recorded 18,908 points at an average of 30.9 points per game.
On the international stage
Mario Antoine Elie is an American basketball coach and former basketball player in the National Basketball Association. Elie grew up in New York City and played college basketball at American International College, before being drafted in the seventh round of the 1985 NBA draft as the 160th overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks. Elie began his professional basketball career with Ireland's Killester in 1986, he went on to play in Portugal and Argentina, as well as the USBL, CBA and WBL. Elie first played in the NBA in 1990 for the Philadelphia 76ers and went on to play for the Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns. Elie won three NBA championships: two with the Rockets in 1994 and 1995 and one with the Spurs in 1999. Elie began his coaching career in 2003 as an assistant with the Spurs, held similar positions with the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic. Elie, of Haitian heritage, grew up in New York City.
He was named "Mario" for opera singer Mario Lanza. His father died, he had a brother named Clark, an amateur basketball player who died in a car accident in October 2009. He has a sister named Nancy. Elie attended Power Memorial Academy, where he played basketball alongside Chris Mullin under coach Steve Donohue. Elie played street ball in Central Park and other locations in New York City during the 1980s, earning the nickname "The Jedi" on the New York playgrounds. Elie played college basketball at American International College in Springfield, where he led AIC to the NCAA Division II Tournament Quarter-Final. Elie was selected with the 160th pick in the 1985 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. In 1986, Elie started his professional career in Ireland with Killester, where he won Player of the Year honors. After a stint with the USBL's Miami Tropics, Elie played eight games in Argentina with Unión de Santa Fe, he spent two seasons in Portugal with Ovarense, helping them win their first national title.
He spent the 1989–90 season with the CBA's Albany Patroons. After a stint with the WBL's Youngstown Pride, Elie returned to the Patroons for the start of the 1990–91 season. In October 1990, Elie spent preseason with the Los Angeles Lakers. In December 1990, he made his NBA debut, he played three games for the 76ers between December 28 and January 2. In February 1991, he joined the Golden State Warriors, where he remained for the rest of the 1990–91 season as well as the 1991–92 season. Elie spent the 1992–93 season with the Portland Trail Blazers before being traded to the Houston Rockets prior to the 1993–94 season. Elie won two NBA championships with the Rockets, first in 1994 and again in 1995. During this period, Elie was dubbed "Super Mario" and "Junkyard Dog". One highlight of Elie's career came when he hit a clutch three-pointer in Game 7 of the 1995 Western Conference Semifinals against the Phoenix Suns to put the Rockets ahead 113–110 with 7.1 seconds left. The shot is called the "Kiss of Death" by Rockets fans, as Elie made a taunting kissing gesture towards the Suns' bench shortly after he made it.
While Elie was a key role player for the Rockets off the bench throughout the regular season and the playoffs, he became a starter in the 1995 NBA Finals. This move paid off for the Rockets, as Elie averaged 16.3 points per game in the Finals—almost double his regular season average—while shooting a stellar 64% from the field. He was 8 for 14 from the three-point line, hitting 7 of 10 three-pointers in Games 3 and 4. Elie played for the Rockets through the 1997–98 season, signed with the San Antonio Spurs, he won a third NBA championship with the Spurs in 1999. After playing two seasons for San Antonio and playing the 2000–01 season for the Phoenix Suns, Elie retired. Elie finished his career with 6,265 points in 732 NBA games. In 2007, Elie was inducted into the New York Basketball Hall of Fame, was named one of the top ten players in Houston Rockets history. On September 28, 2007, Elie was hired by the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant coach, he served with the Mavericks for one season. On June 22, 2009, Paul Westphal hired Elie as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings.
On December 8, 2011, Elie was added to former teammate Avery Johnson's coaching staff with the New Jersey Nets. On June 26, 2015, he was hired by the Orlando Magic as a new assistant coach. Elie married Gina Gaston, a journalist and anchorwoman for Houston's KTRK-TV, while he was playing for the Phoenix Suns, he and his wife have triplets: one girl. Glenn and Lauren. While Glenn and Gaston emulated their father and played basketball, Lauren played soccer. Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com
David Robinson (basketball)
David Maurice Robinson is an American former professional basketball player, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association for his entire career. Based on his prior service as an officer in the United States Navy, Robinson earned the nickname "The Admiral". Robinson is a 10-time NBA All-Star, the 1995 NBA MVP, a two-time NBA Champion, a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner, a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, a two-time U. S. Olympic Hall of Fame inductee, he is considered one of the greatest centers in both college basketball and NBA history. To date, Robinson is the only player from the Naval Academy to play in the NBA. David Robinson was born in Key West, the second child of Ambrose and Freda Robinson. Since Robinson's father was in the Navy, the family moved many times. After his father retired from the Navy, the family settled in Woodbridge, where Robinson excelled in school and in most sports, except basketball, he was 9 inches tall in junior high school.
Robinson attended Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, just outside Washington, D. C. where Robinson's father was working as an engineer. By his senior year in high school he was 6 feet, 6 inches tall, weighed 175 pounds, had not played organized basketball or attended any basketball camps; when the coach added the tall senior to the basketball team, Robinson earned all-area and all-district honors but generated little interest among college basketball coaches. Robinson scored 1320 on the SAT, chose to go to the United States Naval Academy, where he majored in mathematics. David Robinson is considered to be the best basketball player in Naval Academy history, he chose the jersey number 50 after his idol Ralph Sampson. By the time he took the court in his first basketball game for the Navy Midshipmen men's basketball team, he had grown to 6 ft 9 in, over the course of his college basketball career he grew to 7 ft 0 in, he began college with no expectations of playing in the NBA, but in Robinson's final two years he was a consensus All-American and won college basketball's two most prestigious player awards, the Naismith and Wooden Awards, as a Naval Academy first classman.
In 1986, Robinson led Navy, a number seven seed, within a game of the Final Four before falling to Duke in the East Regional Final. Robinson played his first three years for the Midshipmen under Paul Evans and his senior season under former University of Georgia interim Head Coach Pete Herrmann. Upon graduation, he became eligible for the 1987 NBA draft and was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the first overall pick. Robinson was 6 ft. 8 in. When he was admitted to the Naval Academy, two inches above the height limit, but received a waiver from the Superintendent of the Academy. Robinson considered leaving the academy after his second year, before incurring an obligation to serve on active duty, he decided to stay after discussing with the Superintendent the likelihood that his height would prevent him from serving at sea as an unrestricted line officer, which would be detrimental to his naval career, might make it impossible for him to receive a commission at all. As a compromise, Secretary of the Navy John Lehman allowed Robinson to train for and receive a commission as a staff officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.
As a result, Robinson was commissioned in the Naval Reserve and was only required to serve an initial active-duty obligation of two years. After graduating from the Naval Academy, Robinson became a civil engineering officer at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia, he was featured in recruiting materials for the service. Despite the nickname "Admiral", Robinson's actual rank upon fulfilling his service commitment was Lieutenant. Since he had not signed a contract, NBA regulations stated that Robinson could have reentered the draft after his naval service. Although there was speculation that he might choose not to sign with the Spurs, Robinson agreed to move to San Antonio for the 1989–90 season, but the Spurs agreed to pay him as much as the average of the salaries of the two highest-paid players in the league each year, or release him to free agency; the Spurs had spent the second half of the 1980s as an also-ran, bottoming out in 1988–89 with a 21–61 record, the worst in franchise history at the time.
While it was thought that the Spurs would become respectable again once Robinson arrived, no one expected what happened in his rookie season. Robinson led the Spurs to the greatest single season turnaround in NBA history at the time; the Spurs leaped to a record of 56–26 for a remarkable 35 game improvement. They advanced to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs where they lost in seven games to the eventual conference champion Portland Trail Blazers. Following the 1989–90 season, he was unanimously named the NBA rookie of the year, subsequently Sega produced a game featuring him entitled David Robinson's Supreme Court; the Spurs made the playoffs seven more seasons in a row. Robinson made the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team that won the gold medal in Barcelona. During the 1993–94 season, he became locked in a duel for the NBA scoring title with Shaquille O'Neal, scoring 71 point