Ex-Bow Leads Youth Hoops

Geremy Robinson now runs Open Court Hawaii youth teams. Tony Grillo photo

Geremy Robinson remembers having a roller-coaster basketball career with the University of Hawaii. In his two years with the ‘Bows, from 1998 to 2000, he was a crowd favorite, winning the Ah Chew Goo Award as the team’s Most Inspirational Player.

“My favorite moment was scoring 27 points and getting MVP of the Tip-Off Classic,” he recalls.

But the 6-foot 4-inch guard from Louisiana also remembers being in coach Riley Wallace’s doghouse.

“I had trouble running the offense,” he says, “so I didn’t start every game and sometimes I didn’t play. I didn’t understand.”

Robinson left the program after two years and hooked up initially with the Harlem Globetrotters.

“I was only about 20 at the time, and it was fun touring all over Europe and the Middle East, but it was a stage play, really. We played ball for about three to four minutes and then Lamont Robinson, they called him ‘Showboat,’ subbed in and the show started,” he recalls. “The kids and families watching had a blast, but I wanted to play ball and had to be patient.”

Robinson signed on with an overseas professional team and played the next 10 years in Lebanon, Dubai, Malaysia, China and Australia. He also had tryouts with the NBA Rockets, Hawks and Lakers.

The lessons he learned in the tens of thousands of miles he spent playing ball all over the globe he’s now putting to good use in Honolulu. Robinson runs Open Court Hawaii, a basketball club for youngsters between the ages of 8 and 17.

“We have over 100 players now,” he says. “Every year, they’re getting better and better. My goal is to raise awareness of the local basketball experience.”

He’s got some of the top island hoopsters playing for his age-group teams at Palama Settlement and other local gyms; players such as Caleb Gilmore, Josh Burnett, Daniel Andrews and Jacob McEnroe, all of whom are already making names for themselves in the local high school ranks. And he gets excited talking about his stars of the future – Saige Pulu, Jalen Cain, Cobie Barnes, Nainoa Kauhola, Chayse Milne and his own 11-year-old son Geremy Robinson Jr.

“I tell them favoritism is real and you have to learn to deal with it. You need to recognize what you need to do and you definitely need to do what the coach says,” he says.

His teams will be going to Anaheim and Las Vegas this summer.

“Our 17-under team has been invited to the Reebok tournament in Anaheim July 17-21,” he says. “Then, the whole club will go to the AAU Nationals in Vegas July 23-27.

“We’ve got some very good players. They’ve got a chance to play at the next level,” he says proudly. “The kids know they can come to me with everything. I try to teach them good lessons – to act professionally, with courtesy, and to carry themselves well.”

For more, go to open-courthawaii.com. Summer skills clinic begins June 2.

“I’ve seen the world and had some really good times playing basketball,” he says, “but now is the best time. I’m at the happiest point of my life right now. I’ve got a great family, great program and it’s all for these kids. I’ll be there for them all the way.”