New Orleans — The NBA Combine begins the draft process for many prospects, including Chalmette’s Mitchell Robinson. The 7-footer and 2017 McDonald’s All-American has been preparing for this week’s workouts in Chicago for the past year, but knows making the jump to the NBA is no easy task.
“I got some feedback that he needed to improve conditioning-wise,” said Robinson’s trainer, Marcell Scott. “He needed to make sure that he was stronger in his upper body and his base too. Make sure that he stays explosive. Make sure that he stays balanced. Make sure that he’s able to get off a good, comfortable shot even if it’s physical.”
Seven-foot-one Robinson will be one of about 70 NBA draft hopefuls at this week’s combine, looking to catch the eye of scouts and increase his draft stock.
“I’d tell them I run the floor,” Robinson said. “I like to time shots, block them, get rebounds. I just like to play hard.”
But unlike his peers in the draft, Robinson, never played college basketball. He was enrolled at Western Kentucky but ultimately withdrew from school to focus on training for this year’s draft.
“Since I took a year off, I’ve got to go out there and show what I can do now,” Robinson said. “I’ve worked on my game a lot and improved on a lot of different things that I can do now. I can shoot the ball more. I’ve got a running hook. I just developed that. Then I’ve got my mid-range and then I’ve got my post game, and I can handle the ball.”
“They’re going to be looking for him to be a lot further than actually the college guys because he’s been working with me and he’s been getting a lot of pro workouts, a lot of pro shots in and a lot of running and conditioning,” Scott said. “So they expect him to be a lot more conditioned and a lot more seasoned than the college guys.”
Several draft projections have Robinson as a mid-to-late first rounder, but a strong showing at the combine to go along with his impressive measurements, could slide him up the board.
“Standing at 7-foot-one, you can’t teach that,” Scott said. “7-5-inch wingspan. He’s going to protect the rim. He’s going to cause a lot of havoc on the defensive end and that’s going to get him in as a low draft pick right there.”
“I’m very excited,” Robinson said. “Just ready to show the world what I can really do now.”
The NBA combine begins Wednesday, May 16th and goes through Sunday, May 20th– about a month before the draft on June 21st.