By Five Boro Sports
It was a team featuring some of the best players on the East Coast. Stefanie Dolson has verbally committed to UConn. Christine Huber will play at Rutgers. Eugeneia McPherson is headed to St. John’s and Terry Green is bound for Seton Hall.
They all have bigger names, but the one holding the MVP trophy at the end of the Wheelchair Charities HS Basketball Classic was Francis Lewis junior guard Kelly Robinson.
She had just two points in helping her Queens/Long Island squad defeat Manhattan 60-54 in the championship game Wednesday night at Long Island University in Brooklyn, yet she ran the point exquisitely, getting those high Division I caliber talents the ball in perfect places.
Dolson of Minisink Valley (N.Y.) led the way with 16 points and Huber and Yale-bound Megan Vasquez of Calhoun (L.I.) each had eight points. Robinson was the consummate point guard Wednesday and in the semifinals against Brooklyn on Tuesday.
“She should be held in the same conversation as some of these elite guards,” said Dom Cecala, Robinson’s coach with the AAU NY Xplosion. “If you don’t think she’s an elite guard in New York City, you’re not paying attention.”
Her performance couldn’t have come at a better time. Robinson is leaving Thursday for the Boo Williams AAU tournament in Virginia. It’s one of the premier spring events in the country and she is hoping to raise her stock.
“I want to better my game,” Robinson said. “I need to work on my jump shot and I need to get better on defense.”
Right now, she has Marshall, UMass, Iona, Sacred Heart and Wright State interested. A strong summer would help put a strange, drama-filled school season behind her. Robinson transferred from Archbishop Molloy to Lewis and was joined by friends and AAU teammates Sabrina Jeridore and Ayana Duncanson. There was plenty of hype around the Patriots, but in December, longtime Coach Mike Eisenberg was reassigned for allegedly verbally abusing a student in his gym class and school guidance counselor Steve Tsai took over.
Lewis started off strong under Tsai, but went into a mid-season adjustment period that it only snapped out of in the playoffs. Of course, a mediocre year gave the Patriots a date with Murry Bergtraum in the quarterfinals, where they lost. It was the second time in two seasons that Robinson’s team replaced a coach mid-season. Last year, John McGlynn resigned at Molloy and Cecala stepped in.
“I think it’s me,” she joked. “I guess I’m kind of used to it.”
She’ll have a chance to shine this spring and summer with the Xplosion. If she does, it might have all started at the Wheelchair Charities HS Basketball Classic, where she held her own against players like Manhattan Center’s China Crosby and Jennifer O’Neill of St. Michael Academy and with Dolson, Huber, McPherson and others.
“When you put her out there on the floor and watch her play with kids like that,” Cecala said, “you could see how well she distributes the ball.”