Justin Robinson Opens Up: Part 1

Justin Robinson, Virginia Tech
Justin Robinson had a great career for Virginia Tech, and helped the Hokies advance to the Sweet 16 as a senior. (DL Action Sports)

(Note: the entire video interview with Justin Robinson is included at the bottom of this article.)

Buzz Williams was the type of coach at Virginia Tech who put the ultimate trust in his players, especially his point guard Justin Robinson. Oftentimes in the midst of the huddle during a timeout, it was Robinson who was drawing up what play needed to be called. 

Robinson was the direct extension of Williams on the court. In fact, the head whistle would get mad at Robinson for asking for a breather after a mistake because the floor general was only going to get better by playing through the mistakes.

It’s why with Virginia Tech trailing Duke 75-73 with 5.8 seconds remaining and a berth in the Elite Eight on the line, Williams defaulted to the play call that Robinson and his senior teammates wanted.

“Like I said how Buzz let us do certain things in the huddle, it’s a two-point game and he’s drawing up a play to go to the rim,” Robinson said. “All of the seniors look at each other and we’re like, ‘We want to go for the win.’ We draw up a play for Ty [Outlaw], he misses it. We get the lob for Med [Hill] and he misses it, but it’s just so great that we’re in that position in a sold-out arena in the Sweet 16.”

And so in that moment Robinson’s illustrious career in a Hokies’ uniform concluded. The kid from Manassas forever cemented himself in Virginia Tech lore as the program’s all-time career assist leader with 562, along with 1,383 points, 332 rebounds, and 125 steals.

If not for a unique head coach and the foresight to see beyond the game of basketball, the Hokies’ faithful may have never gotten the opportunity to see Robinson’s electrifying moves from Cassell Coliseum.

Justin Robinson, Virginia Tech
Justin Robinson has a very close relationship with head coach Buzz Williams. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

“Obviously Buzz is a different type of guy,” Robinson said. “He told me things I didn’t want to hear during the recruiting process. Just the relationship he built with my parents was bar none, and that’s something that never changed, never switched up from when he recruited me to a day I was at school. That was the big thing. 

“But also, our decision was to know that basketball has to stop bouncing one day and to get