Joey Sykes | The Duquesne Duke
It’s believed that success never comes easy, but it’s something April Robinson has become quite familiar with in her three years as a member of the Duquesne women’s basketball program.
The junior point guard from Springfield, Virginia is currently in the midst of her most successful season as a Duke. With her 2.35 assists-to-turnover ratio, Robinson ranks first in the Atlantic 10 and 21st in the NCAA. She also leads the A-10 in three-pointers made with 66 and has scored in double-digits in every game but one this season.
With her on-court success flourishing, Robinson is finally getting the national recognition she deserves. On Feb. 6, it was announced that the 20-year-old, alongside 30 other point guards from across the country, was named a finalist for the 2015 Nancy Lieberman Award – an award bestowed annually to the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
It is quite the accomplishment not only to be nominated for the award in the first place, but the fact Robinson was named a finalist as a junior is remarkable. However, with all the attention and praise this nomination carries with it, Robinson still remains humble.
“It’s an incredible recognition, but I wouldn’t be able to do it without my support system and without my teammates,” Robinson said after she helped lead her team to an 83-47 victory over conference rival VCU last Saturday. “They’re the ones who helped me.”
In her first two campaigns with the Red & Blue, Robinson made it apparent she would be a mainstay in the Dukes’ lineup for years to come. Over the last two seasons, she started in all 35 games, was a three-time A-10 rookie of the week her freshman year and obtained career highs in points, assists, rebounds and free throws as a sophomore.
Women’s basketball coach Dan Burt first met Robinson when he was still an assistant coach for the Dukes back in 2012 when she was a freshman and lauded her for the exceptional leader she has become here at Duquesne as well as expressed how proud he is of her award nomination.
“Our women’s basketball program is very proud of April being nominated to the Lieberman Award list,” Burt said in a release statement. “It’s a rare honor to be considered one of the best at your position in college basketball, especially when you are a junior and still have your senior year ahead of you.
“April is our catalyst. She makes us go on offense. She leads us on and off the court through her words, but more so her actions and work ethic. We are happy that April is being recognized for what she is: an outstanding point guard and young woman.”
Robinson’s coach isn’t the only one who has enjoyed watching her rise to new heights. Fellow guard and junior Emilie Gronas isn’t surprised that she was awarded the nomination.
“It’s no wonder she got that award,” Gronas said. “She’s such a good point guard. She’s so smart. She gives us tips all the time and it helps us become better players as well.”
Sophomore forward Amadea Szamosi is just thankful to have her as a member of the team and really enjoys being on the court with her on game day.
“I’m always really excited to play with her,” Szamosi said. “I’m so thankful to have a teammate like her. She picks us up whenever we need a three-pointer to keep us in track. She tells us what to do when we’re down and she’s encouraging. She’s awesome.”
With teammates like this, it’s easy to see how much of an influence they have had on Robinson’s success this year. It gives you an idea of how much of a factor they will be on her future on-court triumphs as well.
Of course, with six more regular-season conference matchups, as well as the 2015 A-10 Championship tournament on the horizon for the basketball star, having great teammates can only get you so far. What’s the other key to success going forward? Robinson let’s us in on the secret:
“It’s continuous practice off the court,” she said. “I just need to keep doing the same thing I do everyday.”