The highest rank in the U.S Navy that he ever held was Lieutenant Junior Grade. However, this former U.S Naval Academy basketball star will always be known by his notable nautical nickname, The Admiral.
While an NBA pro with the San Antonio Spurs, David Robinson won two Olympic gold medals, two NBA championships and a 1995 NBA Most Valuable Player Award.
David Robinson Named One of the Top 50 NBA Players Ever
In 1995 he was named as one of the 50 greatest NBA players in history.
Despite his professional and Olympic celebrity, David Robinson will always be remembered for his unexpected, brilliant college basketball career at the U.S. Naval Academy. That’s where Navy fans first saw him star as The Admiral.
Surprisingly, Robinson started playing basketball competitively as a high school senior. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy as a skinny 6’8” and 185 lb. freshman with very little basketball ability. He even needed special permission from the Navy to apply because he already stood taller than the military school’s maximum height allowance.
The late-blooming Robinson graduated four years later as a muscular, highly skilled 7’1” athletic center. Robinson left his mark on college basketball as the all-time greatest U.S. Naval Academy player.
David Robinson Led Navy to NCAA Elite 8 in 1986
In his junior year, The Admiral led the Midshipmen to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament, the school’s highest finish ever. During his senior season, he averaged 28.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots per game.
Robinson received college basketball’s two highest honors during his senior season. The Admiral won both the Naismith and Wooden Awards, given each year to NCAA college basketball’s top overall player.
Even though he was selected by the San Antonio Spurs as the overall number one pick in the 1987 NBA Draft, Robinson did not enter the NBA immediately after graduation.
Instead, The Admiral served two years of his required active duty in the Navy before joining the Spurs organization in 1989. He played for San Antonio during his entire 13-year NBA career and was elected into the basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.
Robinson also ships in at #4 in all-time NCAA Basketball Favorites.
This Naval Officer may have only worn the uniform of a Lieutenant Junior Grade during his service in the U.S. Navy.
But, whenever David Robinson stepped onto the basketball court, he played like the top ranking leader for which he was named – The Admiral.
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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!