Bryant's Robinson vaults into national spotlight

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2019
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Bryant High School Khalen Robinson (2) shoots during a basketball game, Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Bentonville West High School in Centerton.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Bryant High School Khalen Robinson (2) shoots during a basketball game, Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Bentonville West High School in Centerton.

— It was one of the best 24-hour periods of Bryant basketball star Khalen Robinson’s life and a time he likely won’t forget.

In a span of few minutes on June 9, Robinson (6-1, 170 pounds) received offers from Arkansas and Kansas, and then added another one from Oklahoma the following day.

It was heady stuff for a player that 247Sports' composite rankings view as a four-star prospect, the 10th-best point guard in the country and the 70th-best overall player in the 2020 class.

“It was a huge honor to get those big-time, high-major offers,” Robinson said. “Arkansas is the home state and the one I have grown up loving and watched all my life, and Kansas is just a blue blood and one of the biggest-name schools in the country.

“So getting those offers was just amazing. It has put a bigger target on my back and I have to work even harder.”

Robinson has been playing for the ProSkills 17-and-under EYBL AAU team out of Dallas this spring and summer, and will be competing in the Nike Peach Jam beginning Wednesday.

“I have talked to the Arkansas coaches almost every day, but I haven’t been able to visit Arkansas since the offer because I have been in Dallas all summer, but I do plan to get up to Fayetteville in August,” Robinson said. “I will take a couple of official visits during August and September during football games, but I have not scheduled them yet.”

Robinson has also added offers from Florida, TCU, Illinois, Iowa State and Appalachian State since the start of the AAU season to go along with previous ones he had from UTEP, Louisiana Tech, Missouri State and Southern Miss.

He hasn’t yet started narrowing down his list, but that will happen soon.

“I haven’t started to do that yet, but I do plan to start that after Peach Jam,” Robinson said. “Once I start narrowing it down, it will be about which school feels like home and the best fit for me.”

ProSkills will open pool action in the Peach Jam against Team Takeover on Wednesday night.

That will lead into a Thursday game against Woodz Elite, which features a pair of fellow Razorback 2020 targets in West Memphis power forward Chris Moore (6-7, 220) and Fort Smith Northside center Jaylin Williams (6-10, 220).

“That’s a game that I look forward to,” Robinson said. “…I have a lot of friends on that team. It is going to be a really competitive game, but we will come out to win it.”

Robinson was a first-team All-Arkansas Preps first-team selection after averaging 18 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals as a junior.

“I think my strengths are being a leader on the floor, I’m vocal on both ends, I can score the ball well, but also can get my teammates involved,” Robinson said. “I think I also play real good defense both on the ball and off.

“The things I am working on finishing around the rim. I am good at it, but not great. I am also continuing to work on my shooting.”

Robinson led the Hornets (24-5) to the Class 6A state championship game before falling to Fort Smith Northside 44-41. Williams had 20 points, 16 rebounds and 3 blocked shots and was named MVP.

“It was amazing to be able to be a part of bringing the joy back to Bryant basketball,” said Robinson, who led his team with 11 points in the title game. “It had been gone for a little while and it was one of my goals, to bring it back, and that was one of the reasons I came to Bryant.”

Arkansas football recruiting target Catrell Wallace (6-5, 210) was also part of the basketball season once his football season ended.

“He was a big-time add for us when he came to us later in the season,” Robinson said. “He really helped us a lot. He gave us rebounding, gave us some championship experience since won a championship in football and so he knows what he takes.”

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