There’s no denying Nate Robinson‘s skills on the basketball court. But is it possible that he’s the best all-around athlete on the Denver Nuggets’ roster?
Over at USA Today High School Sports, Jason Jordan posted an interview with Mike Bethea, Robinson’s high school basketball coach at Rainer Beach High School in Seattle, Washington. Bethea reveals several interesting tidbits about Robinston’s past athletic accomplishments that might surprise you.
1. Nate was a big-time running back who drew interest from USC.
“People don’t realize he signed a football scholarship with [The University of] Washington. People also don’t know that Reggie Bush was USC’s second choice after Nate. He was their first choice. I remember Coach Pete Carroll coming up and telling him that Carson Palmer was their fifth Heisman winner and he wanted Nate to be their sixth. The only reason Nate didn’t go to USC was because Henry Bibby wouldn’t offer him a scholarship because he didn’t like two-sport athletes.”
2. Nate could dunk even when he was 5′ 6″.
“My favorite memory is during his sophomore year we were running an out of bounds play for another kids on our team to get an alley-lop. Nate came over to me and said to let him try it; he swore to me that he’d get a dunk and at that time he was 5-foot-6. We ran the play and he jumped so high and dunked it with one hand and hung on the rim and everything. I mean the whole gym did a big gasp.”
3. Nate was a stand-out track athlete.
“He was that guy that was just good at everything. His senior year he came to the track coach and asked him what the state record was in the 110-highs [hurdles] and he went out and broke it the next week.”
4. Nate considered giving football another try even after he was in the NBA.
“I thought he’d play five years in the NBA then quit and play another five years in the NFL. When [the NBA] went on a strike a couple years back Pete Carroll reached out to Nate about a tryout. He couldn’t do it because of his NBA contract.”
The entire interview is great and you should definitely check it out over on the USA Today site.