David Robinson

DavidRobinsonTHE LORD LOVED ME AND BLESSED ME

   My name is David Robinson. I was born on August 6, 1965, in Key West, Florida. I was named one of the fifty greatest players in National Basketball Association (NBA). I was Rookie of the Year, a ten-time All Star in 1992, won the NBA Scoring Title, Blocked Shots Title, Rebounding Title, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player award in 1995, and a World Championship four years later. My career with the San Antonio Spurs will end at the close of the 2003 season, when I retire. My biggest thrill while playing basketball was winning the Gold Medal as a member of the 1996 Olympic “Dream Team.”

 

   My fourteen years in the NBA has flown by while with the Spurs, I gained the nickname of ‘The Admiral.’ I still feel like a kid in my mind and I'm surprised when my body doesn't respond quite as quickly as it used to. I'm thinking "Okay, wait I'm not a kid anymore," All the fans are coming up to me now and they're saying, "Man I had your poster on my wall, I grew up watching you play!" "What do you mean you grew up watching me play?" Okay, I'm getting up there a little bit. In 2009, I was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

   I could play a few more years, but as I near forty, it’s time to retire. I’m confident about this decision. There's nothing sad about retirement. I've been blessed, and I know the Lord has other things for me to do that are fun. This phase of my life has been so exciting. All the travel, media, and being in the public's limelight, it's time for that to come to an end and it's time to move on.

   Even at thirty-seven years old, I clearly remember how life changed after serving in the Navy, I was the number one NBA draft pick in 1987. In my second year at Annapolis, I grew from six feet-four inches to seven feet-one inch. After graduating in 1987, my life was divided between the Navy and NBA. My Navy tour ended in 1990. 

   Everything was going my way, a lot of endorsements, and I was playing well. When I first joined the league, I was on the All NBA team. I owned my own home, had money, fans, but I didn't have peace. That was when the Lord grabbed me and showed me how much He loved me and during all this time I hadn't responded. This pushed me over the edge and helped me to give my life to Jesus. On June 8, 1991, I fell on my knees and started crying and said, "God, I'm so sorry. You've blessed me incredibly, you've given me so much, you've given me everything and I have never honored You and never thanked You.  I've been like a spoiled kid in the house. You're blessing me and I’m running around doing what I want to do. I said, “From here on Lord, everything I have is Yours; wherever You want me to go, I'll go. Whatever You want me to say, I'll say. Lord, just let me walk with You, let me hold Your hand, let me just be Your child."

    The very next day, God gave me this incredible hunger. I would just get into God’s Word and read my Bible four or five hours a day. I was so hungry to know who He was. I didn't realize before that that I knew almost nothing about God and as I read the Bible, His Words just jumped off the pages and became alive. It was a transforming experience, I got to love God and really love Him as a Father. So I'm running around asking everybody, "What's wrong with you? Why aren't you guys doing something? This is great stuff, God is real.”

  As years passed, my faith grew and He continued to dominate the game. I was known as the best player on a team that couldn't win a championship until 1999. Then the Spurs drafted another talented big man, Tim Duncan. I would need to put my ego on the shelf; Duncan was the team’s new superstar. 

   I struggle with it at times? Yes. Even now, I still do and I know physically I don't do the same things I did at twenty-four. I even struggled with it mentally and at times and I think the Lord just teaches us that we have a place. The Bible says you have a place in the body of Christ and maybe your place isn't up at the pulpit. Maybe your place isn't in front of everyone. Maybe your place is at the door ushering, or maybe your place is in the home teaching your children. It's not what I thought I should be doing, but it's a part of the body of Christ, and it's important. Especially after winning the championship, I understood it more. It was such a rich thing for me. Even though I wasn't that headline the Most Valuable Player (MVP), it was such a joy to fit the pieces of the puzzle together and to see God’s faithfulness over the years take me from here to there.

   On San Antonio's East Side is a community in decay. Many of the streets, like this one, are lined with condemned buildings that once served as crack houses. It's a tough place for a child to grow and they deserve a better future. Most kids are scared when a seven footer struts into the playground, but not these kids, I’m their buddy. These are the students of my independent elementary school, The Carver Academy, named after George Washington Carver. It's been my dream to build a school that stresses discipline and faith for kids from low income families. I have personally contributed nine million dollars to provide scholarships and complete the building’s construction.

   Going to the Naval Academy, I was always big on the discipline. I like the discipline; I like the sense of being a part of something greater than me. It's not about making all the money you can make\. It's about you serving your country and that's kind of what I wanted to do on a smaller scale with these kids. I wanted them to understand that God has placed them here for a reason. He has given them talents for a reason. He wants to take them somewhere. Just like the Bible says, "Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth." These kids are my arrows, so I'm going to shoot them out there. They're going to go, and it's our responsibility to nurture them and help them achieve their goals. 

  When other people do things to us, it doesn't matter what they do, if they hit us, we forgive them. If they hurt us, we forgive them. They're going to accomplish something, and it's not necessarily always for their glory, it's not necessarily always about how much money am I going to make? Am I going to be successful in the world’s eye? Who cares? You know you're going to be successful in God’s eyes for sure. I'd rather be out there moving for God because you can't stand still. It's a love, it's a passion, and God didn't stand still and leave me out there. It's the same passion that I think He's given me for other people. 

  I hear a lot of times, that your actions speak as loudly as anything you say and these kids are, more than anything, I think they know I love them. Even with all my involvement with the school, the front of the building says the Carver Academy, and isn't it called the David Robinson Academy? I didn't want to name it after myself. I'm still a work in progress. You get a guy like George Washington Carver and he's just an amazing man and his name is a better name than my name, that's for sure. God's still doing some stuff with me and hopefully when I'm finished, my name will be worthy of something, but not now.

  I continue to raise money for the school, which will eventually have 300 students from Pre-K through 8th grade. When you build a school from scratch, you really have a lot of work to do. I wish I had their energy.

Since 99% of our kids right now come on scholarship, and they pay a minimal tuition, we really need to raise funds for our endowment. That's where our biggest challenge lies right now.  

  I have three sons, and being a dad has helped shaped my relationship with God, my heavenly Father. He is Your Father, who has been gracious the whole time. The same way you sit there with your children, and feed them the bottle, change their diapers and sitting up with them every night. Then one day, your child wakes up and says, "You know what? This guy, who's been here all the time, loves me." So if one day, the kid wakes up and says "Daddy, I love you." And you have a choice to make. Just like that child has a choice to make when they find out that their Father been up there the whole time blessing them, watching over them and taking them where theirs’re supposed to go. What're you going to do? Are you going to stop and say, "Daddy, I love you. You've been here the whole time. Man, you're awesome and the rest of my life I'm just going to bless you, I'm going to honor you as my Dad."

David Robinson Hearing His Voice

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