Family Feel in Full Effect at Nike Hoop Summit for Villanova Commit Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl may be from Overland Park, Kansas, but he can’t wait to become a Philly guy.
Robinson-Earl, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound power forward, has committed to Villanova University.
“It’s a great culture there,” said the 18-year-old, who won three high school state championships in Kansas before transferring to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. “The coaching staff impressed me, how it’s family oriented, real close. I’m a big relationships kind of person, and it stood out, because they all recruited me.”
Robinson-Earl said head coach Jay Wright and assistant coaches Kyle Neptune, Mike Nardi and George Halcovage all were part of the process.
“Some colleges would do just one recruiting coach,” he added, “But with Villanova, they were the only one where everybody talked to me.”
Robinson-Earl is a special talent indeed, and he has been selected to compete for USA Basketball in the 22nd annual Nike Hoop Summit on Friday, April 12 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. The game pits U.S. high school senior stars against a similar pool of players from around the world. (Tickets)
An extremely reliable midrange shooter with a high basketball IQ, Robinson-Earl is a combo forward with improving strength. He will join up with fellow USA Nike Hoop Summit teammate Justin Moore at Villanova in the fall, which will help his Wildcat experience feel even more like family.
Robinson-Earl loves the way Villanova spreads the floor, which will allow him to expand his game.
“I think I’ll fit in really well,” he said. “Their players in the pros like Mikal Bridges, Omari Spellman, they all expanded the floor and go in-and-out and I just think it fits perfect for my position in my opinion. Eric Paschall, who will be a pro, they talked about how I would be able to do similar things like him.”
In choosing Villanova, Robinson-Earl jumped over an obvious University of Kansas connection. His dad, Lester Earl, played at Kansas. And while he bypassed the Jayhawks, he is following in his father’s footsteps in another way.
Lester Earl was a McDonald’s All-American in 1996. Jeremiah is a McDonalds All-American this year, making he and his dad just the sixth father-son duo to receive the honor.
The Nike Hoop Summit won’t be the first time Robinson-Earl wears “USA” across his chest. He helped lead USA Basketball to a gold medal at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, averaging 10.7 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game as the USA went 6-0. Helping his country win a gold medal there helped him understand how to raise the bar for himself.
“There’s really nothing I experienced that compares to the caliber of representing your country and winning a gold medal,” he said. “At the time we won, we’d been on the road for like 18 days. We were all so tired. We wanted to win, and that was the one thing that really kept us going.
“After we won, it was surreal, but after a week or so, when you have that gold medal, you realize, ‘Dang, I’m a gold medalist.’ It’s a cool thought to have in your mind.”
Robinson-Earl said that his mom, Katie Robinson, has shepherded his thirst for academics and bettering himself every day.
“I feel like my mom motivates me,” he said, “but I just want to be the best version of me. I don’t want to be the next this-person or the next that-person. I want to be me.
“Saying that, I like the way LeBron (James) portrays himself. Even though he didn’t go to college and get a degree, he’s such a knowledgeable person, a good businessman, a good person. I like the sports and business aspects of his life.”
Robinson-Earl finds motivation from life. Now that he is at IMG, he’s hearing international students speak, so he decided to teach himself Spanish. He likes math and politics, is interested in economic events and enjoys public speaking.
“I feel comfortable enough to give speeches in class, to adults and crowds,” he said.
In what little down time he has, he likes listening to music and hanging out with his teammates playing video games.
He’s also a fan of rapper Meek Mill, and is looking forward to continuing his career in Mill’s hometown.
“Hopefully I get to meet him when I’m out there in Philly,” he said. “The owner of the 76ers brought him to a 76ers game, and he got to ring the bell. I like the Philadelphia area. It’s a pro town. I like the culture out there. I like the culture at Villanova. They make it feel like family.”
Gary R. Blockus is a freelance contributor to USAB.com on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.