Updated: Jul 3
Pro Insight’s Alex Brown caught up with Robins at this year’s CrossRoads Elite Invitational in Indianapolis, Indiana. Robins is a 6’5” forward with outlier two-foot leaping ability and an interesting fit as a versatile role player.
Robins plays on the Nike EYBL Circuit with the Mac Irvin Fire (IL) program.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2024 prospect Calvin Robins, Jr., from Chicago, Illinois:
Pro Insight: For those who may not know much about you yet, tell us a bit about yourself and your basketball journey.
Calvin Robins, Jr.: I am a sophomore at Kenwood Academy in Chicago — we were top-five in the state and went to Super Sectionals last year. I played both varsity and junior varsity. We won city with JV and I played a key role in Super Sectionals.
PI: What are your strengths and weaknesses on the court?
CR: My greatest strength is my athleticism, being able to spring up on command immediately. Weaknesses are probably ball handling and shooting, but we are in the gym working there every day. Definitely working on it at this camp.
PI: What’s one aspect that you think is underrated?
CR: Probably my mid-range game. Everybody says I can’t shoot but leave me open anywhere from 15 feet and in and I’m knocking that down, easy.
PI: How has basketball shaped you as a person?
CR: Basketball has helped me with my teamwork, communication, and meeting people. I have met so many people through basketball, it has been a crazy journey already.
PI: You are obviously a big time dunker…tell us about your first in-game dunk and first poster.
CR: My first dunk was a poster. In eighth grade, we were playing in this tournament in Chicago, and I caught a put-back over somebody, and that was my first dunk, in eighth grade. I had just started dunking in the seventh grade. I was like 6’1”.
PI: What do you like to do off the court?
CR: Of course video games, but I love to paint and draw too. I just did a few projects for my school, and I’m taking art classes and stuff. But, for sure painting and drawing. I picked it up during quarantine.
PI: What do you enjoy the most about that?
CR: I feel like it just helps the stress go away. I feel like when I am painting and drawing, I don’t have to worry about anything. I am just in my room, in the zone, working on something creative and using my mind.
PI: Do you watch film on any players? If so, who do you like to watch?
CR: I for sure watch Jimmy Butler and Marcus Smart — guys that go 100-percent, every play. In college, I don’t really focus on one person, and of course I will in the future, but I have been watching a lot of college basketball. It is very interesting to see how they move and how they work as a team and everything. Mainly watching a lot of college basketball.
PI: Those two guys you mentioned are tough as nails, and really fly around on defense. Do you think that’s an area you can add value in?
CR: For sure, I feel like every team needs that guy that can hustle 110-percent of the time and give all their effort and bring energy. I feel like if you have that guy on your team, or multiple, that’s a great situation to go far…so I try to do that every time I step on the court. Every team needs them — they drive winning.
PI: What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever received?
CR: “Work hard every time you step in the gym.” “Always go game speed, what’s the point of practicing slow?” “Practice how you play.”
PI: What motivates you?
CR: The idea of free college. My sister went to Wisconsin-Madison, and gratefully my family can afford it, but I never want my parents to pay for it — it’s too much money. That pushes me to go hard on the court and get people to look at me.
PI: Academics are really important in a college fit then, I’d imagine?
CR: For sure. My mom is heavy on that. I have a 4.3 GPA right now, and school always comes first.
PI: What is the latest on recruitment?
CR: I currently hold offers from NIU and WIU, and I have interest from Marquette, Loyola Chicago, DePaul, and Southern Utah. (editor's note: Robins picked up offers from Radford and Brown after this recording).
PI: What type of role would you like to play at the college level?
CR: Whatever the coach needs me to do, I am a role player. Whatever you need me to do, I’ll do that.
PI: Coen Carr told us the exact same thing. Is that maybe a guy you watch and take a little bit from his game?
CR: Yeah, heavily. I watch a lot of his games. I try to model my game a bit after him, too. His athleticism is crazy, being able to jump off one or two and handle the ball. He is really nice, definitely like that. He’s a hooper. Not to sound like a fan, but I just watched him a lot in EYBL. Saw him on TikTok, too, a few times.
PI: Top-three music artists?
CR: Oh, man. Hopefully I don’t pull a Jared McCain… Lil Baby, Lil Durk, and Icewear Vezzo.
PI: How would you describe your personality on and off the court?
CR: Just a fun guy. My teammates record everything, I want to make a lot of memories and try to have fun. On the court, I’m locked in and having fun at the same time, laughing, talking to my teammates.
PI: One hashtag to describe yourself?
PI: Lastly, what should coaches and scouts expect to see this next year from Calvin Robins, Jr.?
CR: Definitely a lot more versatility in my game, guarding multiple positions, playing in the post and perimeter, and moving off the ball.