Robinson, Dukes eye berth in NCAA tourney

Claire Murray | Photo Editor - Senior point guard April Robinson prepares to receive an inbounded ball during a practice drill. The club opens up their season this Friday.
Claire Murray | Photo Editor – Senior point guard April Robinson prepares to receive an inbounded ball during a practice drill. The club opens up their season this Friday.

By Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke

With 99 games and 3,070 minutes of playing time, senior point guard April Robinson has started in every game for the past three seasons.

“It’s crazy,” Robinson said. “It seems like I was just a freshman yesterday. It goes by fast. I’m constantly reminding the younger girls to never take it for granted. You can blink, and it’s over.”

Last season alone, Robinson broke a program record and led the Atlantic 10 in 3-pointers, racking up 87 total. Completing the season with 466 points, Robinson averaged 13.7 points per game, good for 12th in the conference.

But how does she deal with the pressure of her expectations as a main leader on the team? Robinson explained that it isn’t exactly a factor in her performance.

“I don’t even think about it,” Robinson said. “When you put that uniform on and go on the court, it’s just another game. I’m going to do whatever is necessary for us to continue moving forward.”

Moving forward for Robinson involves winning the Atlantic 10 tournament and, ultimately, earning the NCAA Tournament bid the program has been striving for throughout its history.

“Obviously our ultimate goal is to win the A-10 Championship, and I feel like that’s always in the back of my mind,” Robinson said. “We have to carry that over every day in practice, we have to do what’s necessary in order to achieve that goal, win A-10’s and make history.”

Despite her already established success, Robinson continues to work on improvement. She explained that her father is a source of motivation in her life, especially in developing her skills on the court.

“He’s always there constantly reminding me of things to do better, and how to achieve my goals,” Robinson explained. “It’s good to have a coaching staff here, but it’s also good to have my dad in the back of my head just telling me other things that maybe our coaches don’t see.”

She expressed that head coach Dan Burt is also a motivating factor in both her performance and in her life outside of the sport.

“No matter what, he’s always there to help you, whether it’s on or off the court,” Robinson said. “He pushes us to be better people, and that’s what helps the most.”

Teammate and fellow senior Emilie Gronas explained that she will miss playing with Robinson.

“April is a little reserved, but she shows how much she loves you and when she is proud of you,” Gronas said. “Playing wise, she’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever played with. She sees the court so well, and I’ve learned so much from her.”

While Robinson surely will not be forgotten by her coaches and teammates, she explained that she will miss the program just as much.

“I’m going to miss them all,” Robinson said. “They all bring something different. We have international players. They all are talented in different ways. I’m just looking forward to playing with each and every one of them.”

As for life beyond Duquesne, she is determined to remain involved with basketball in some way, whether by competing professionally or pursuing a career in coaching. According to Robinson, it all depends on how things unfold this season.

The team’s current graduate assistant, Olivia Bresnahan, spoke highly of Robinson, who is also her former teammate.

“April is just such an exceptional player and an exceptional person,” Bresnahan said. “She will do anything for her teammates.

With the achievements she has already accomplished in her first three seasons with the Dukes, Robinson’s future in basketball is bright, whether it be as a head coach or even a professional player.