With the 40th pick in the NBA draft on Thursday, the Timberwolves chose a familiar name: 6-7 forward Glenn Robinson III. Gophers fans saw him during his two seasons at Michigan, while NBA fans know his father, former Purdue and Bucks star Glenn Robinson. He was introduced to the Minnesota media Friday, and the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand caught up with him.
Q I read you had a draft party Thursday and your dad was there. But I’ve also read it was mostly your mom who raised you. How much was and is your dad in your life?
A My mom and grandma really raised me. [My mom and dad] weren’t together, but they still had a great relationship dealing with me and my brother. My dad, I spent a lot of time with him during the summers and he really helped my game during his time off. He’s played a big role in my basketball career and my life, period, along with my mom and my grandma. I hope they raised me well; I hope everyone thinks that.
Q I heard they gave you the Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” at the draft party. That sounds like a unique gift, right?
A Yeah, they had everyone at the party write a little something from the heart about what they felt about me going to Minnesota or me taking this journey. It was a pretty cool idea.
Q With that book in mind, you were drafted in the second round. Where do you go from here?
A Just continue to develop my game. I thank Minnesota for the opportunity not just because I was so overwhelmed by it but also they really saw something in me that a lot of teams maybe didn’t see. I’m very motivated to become that player. I base myself on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, two good players I can develop my game into. Just having an overall game offensively and defensively, those are players I really look up to.
Q I read in a story that you were born three months premature. What have you been told about that experience and time in your life?
A I was 3 pounds, 4 ounces. I spent two months in an incubator. My dad was at Purdue, and I think he was coming into the draft. He put a little Purdue basketball in my hand. My mom and grandma always say that was the first time I fell in love with the game. But even back then, I was doubted from the start. That’s kind of been the story of my life. I love it. I love it. It really drives me and motivates me to be an even better player and person.
Q I heard you say earlier that you are a big believer that everything happens for a reason. That said, you were projected as a possible first-round pick a year ago. Any regrets about going back to Michigan for your sophomore year?
A Not at all. I don’t even think about it. Like I said, everything does happen for a reason. … I just want to get better. I used to wake up at 5:30 every morning, and I still do that, get up 500 shots. That’s part of the hard work I put in. Sometimes when I hear people say, ‘He doesn’t have the motor, he doesn’t play as hard as he can,’ it kind of hurts. With the hard work I put in, why wouldn’t I go out and play as hard as I can? I can’t wait to show that here.