Decatur High basketball player Kurt Robinson admitted Tuesday it wasn’t until last summer that he began thinking he might play beyond high school.
The 6-foot-2 point guard made this admission moments after signing a letter-of-intent to play the next four years at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Ga.
Sitting in the Decatur arena reception room, overlooking the football field, Emmanuel head coach T.J. Rosene shoved the letter-of-intent under Kurt’s chin and said, “Hurry up and sign before you change your mind.”
Rosene knows that Robinson’s a late bloomer. He played very little AAU ball and didn’t even make Decatur’s varsity until his junior year.
But the raw talent is unquestioned. Robinson has explosive full-court speed, a vertical leap in the high 30s, and wide-angled court vision that Decatur coach Charlie Copp calls, “among the best I’ve ever seen.”
“I think you’re gonna look at Kurt a year or two from now and he won’t even be the same player,” Rosene said. “He has a real high basketball I.Q., and more than that he has tremendous character.”
Emmanuel is located 93 miles from Decatur in northeast Georgia, not far from Ty Cobb’s hometown of Royston. The school with 800 students has entered something of a golden era under Rosene.
Playing in the National Christian College Athletic Association under the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) umbrella, Emmanuel has gone 101-62 in the last five years. That record includes an NCCAA national championship in 2009, and a trip to the championship game (a 74-56 loss to Cedarville University) this past year.
“What I like most about them is the coaching staff,” Robinson said after signing. “It’s not like they are three different coaches or [separate], but more like they are working together as one unit.”
Though he suffered from an ankle sprain for a month early last season, and at times was so badly hobbled he was virtually incapable of scoring, he averaged 13.1 points per game and shot a team high 46 percent from the field.
Robinson led the team in rebounding at 7.3, assists at 4.2 and steals at 1.8. He also averaged 1.4 blocks.
Rosene likes to play up tempo, and will often start three guards, even saying he might start four during some games next season. He also runs the read-and-react offense, a system Kurt’s played off-and-on in all four years at Decatur.
“I don’t know what kind of player he’ll turn out to be,” Rosene said. “Maybe he’s a point, maybe he’s a two guard, or maybe he’s just gonna be a great player. I never like to put anybody in box. I want to see him come to our place, work his butt off and prove what he can do.
“If he does that,” the coach added, “then we’ll win our share of games over the next four years.”