During his senior season at Virginia Tech, Justin Robinson did not get as many chances to show what he could do on the court as he had planned.
But he has had plenty of opportunities to do so since the season ended.
The standout point guard has worked out for 15 NBA teams since late May, giving him hope that he might be taken in the NBA Draft on Thursday.
“I won’t be able to sleep [Wednesday night], knowing Thursday’s the draft,” Robinson said Tuesday in a phone interview.
Robinson has a shot to be chosen in the second and final round of the 60-pick draft.
“The phone’s been blowing up to my agent,” he said. “Things are looking really good. … There’s more buzz around my name.”
ESPN.com rates him as the No. 55 prospect for the draft, although its mock draft does not project him as being selected.
Even if Robinson is not drafted, it is a safe bet that an NBA team will sign him for its Las Vegas Summer League squad, giving him a chance to earn a spot in training camp.
“I don’t think the final goal is to get drafted,” he said. “That’s everybody’s dream and it would be nice to hear my name called on Thursday. But the final goal is to make it somewhere, in the best position for me to stay around.”
Robinson, the Hokies’ career assists leader, missed 12 games after injuring his left foot in a Jan. 30 win at Miami. He returned for the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s been 100 percent since right after the season ended,” Robinson said of his foot. “When I came back for the NCAA Tournament, I wouldn’t say it was 100 percent, but nothing was going to stop me from playing in that environment and trying to do whatever it took for my team to win.
“To be in that position and go to the Sweet 16 in my last year and come back from an injury like I had is kind of amazing.”
Robinson said Boston, San Antonio, Detroit, Minnesota, Phoenix, Sacramento, the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State, Washington, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Orlando and Indiana have brought him in for workouts.
Detroit brought him back for a second workout Tuesday. A second workout for Boston was set for Wednesday.
“The opportunity to be in this position … and be in different cities every day is just a blessing,” he said. “When I went down with my foot injury, I thought it was the end of the world. And now everything is coming full circle. It just shows that God is amazing.
“I was in L.A. and LeBron [James] walked into my workout. That was cool.
“At Golden State, … I run into Kevin Durant. We happen to have played for the same high school coach, so we chit-chatted for a little bit. Just to try not to act starstruck is kind of hard.”
Robinson and Virginia Tech guard Ahmed Hill were among 64 seniors who were invited to play in the Portsmouth Invitational in April. The annual tournament is for players who are not considered locks to be drafted.
Robinson averaged 7.7 points and 6.0 assists in his three games there, while Hill averaged 13.7 points.
“It just showed at Portsmouth that my foot was fine,” Robinson said. “I really opened the eyes of some executives.”
Robinson was among 40 draft hopefuls who were invited to the NBA G League Elite Camp, which was held in May in Chicago.
But he was not among the 11 players who advanced from that camp to the NBA combine in Chicago.
He was disappointed that he did not get a combine spot, but that freed him up to attend Virginia Tech’s commencement.
“It all turned out the best for me,” he said. “I got to walk across the stage for my family, and have them in attendance. That’s something that can never be taken away from me.”
Robinson averaged 13.5 points in 24 games as a senior last season, when he dished out 120 assists. He made the All-ACC second team as a junior.
What has he been trying to demonstrate to teams in his many workouts?
“I don’t think there’s really anything you can prove as much as [from] them having hours of film on you for the four years I had in college,” he said. “They know I’m a competitor and that I can run a team and be an extension of the coach on the court and do whatever it takes to win.
“In these workouts, it’s allowed me to show more of my one-on-one game, compared to what I was able to in college. But besides that, it’s just normally the same stuff.
“I always live by production over hype, and the idea of controlling what I can control. I think that’s what I’ve done a phenomenal job of.”
- Hill is not a likely draft pick, but it seems a safe bet that an NBA team will sign him for the Las Vegas Summer League.
“If I don’t get drafted, that’s fine, then I’ll go to the best situation for me to be able to play,” Hill said in a phone interview Wednesday. “How I was raised, I never really had the easy route. I always had to do things a little … harder. In that sense, being undrafted is kind of right up my alley. It’s kind of who I am.”
Hill said he has worked out for 13 teams — Charlotte, Atlanta, Detroit, the Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota, Utah, Golden State, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Cleveland.
“It kind of amazed me, to be able to travel in such a short period of time, visiting all these places I’ve never been before,” he said.
- Radford standout Ed Polite Jr. said he has worked out for Washington, Boston and Philadelphia.