Byline: Deborah Simmons, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Those of you who do not follow the NBA might be familiar with some of basketball's notorious headliners. There is New Jersey Nets player Jayson Williams, charged with fatally shooting a limo driver, and Allen Iverson, the Philadelphia 76ers franchise player, who has courted danger and nefarious associates since he was a teen-ager. There also is former Golden State Warrior (current New York Knicks player) Latrell Sprewell, who yoked his coach. And there is the butt of the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers, whose players are jokingly referred to as the Jail Blazers because of run-ins on and off the court. Those and other Goliaths are the commonplace challenges of the NBA. So, when a David Robinson comes along, take notice.
David Robinson's accomplishments are astonishing, especially given the fact that basketball is not his life. His college, Olympic and NBA records are too numerous to give proper detail to in my allotted space, but you can catch him in action tonight in the second game in the 2003 NBA Finals. Suffice it to say, before basketball, this future Hall of Famer liked to tinker with electronics as a youth, scored 1320 on his college boards and earned a mathematics degree from the Naval Academy.
An ideal citizen-athlete? Mr. Robinson doesn't just mouth the words give back to the community, he lives them. He doesn't merely call himself a Christian, he lives his life as a Christian.
Accordingly, future winners of the NBA's Community Assist Award will also receive the David Robinson Plaque, whose inscription will read: "Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece."
"Piece by piece" is certainly accurate. Just as David Robinson is an extraordinary player in the world of professional sports or, perhaps, because of professional sports he is much more as a husband, father and role model.
He and wife Valerie are true Christian soldiers. The Robinsons help feed the hungry, diaper poor infants, aid single moms, enrich the souls of the spiritually needy and educate young children. They also give scholarship money to college aspirants. And, while this will certainly sound corny or perhaps remind you of something your Sunday School teacher might have said, the Robinsons will tell you and anybody who asks, that it is their faith in God that gives them the strength and the resources to do things that they otherwise might not have the strength or resources to do. …