Henry Robinson got his first basketball recruiting call concerning his son when Henry Robinson Jr. was just a third grader.
Kenoe Jordan, owner of the Nightrydas AAU program, already knew who “Junior” was. He was impressed by his size.
Robinson Jr. is now a 6-foot-6½ freshman at Matanzas High School, about to begin his first season playing for his father, who is beginning his third season as the Pirates’ head boys basketball coach.
“I’m really excited about that,” Robinson Jr. said. “I’ve played for my dad before, but this is going to be my first time actually playing high school ball for him.”
Robinson Jr., who now plays AAU ball for the Nightrydas of South Florida, is ranked among the top 25 players nationally for the class of 2027.
“The buzz got started when he was in the sixth grade,” Robinson Sr. said. “In seventh grade, he really took off.”
Robinson Jr. respects his parents, but he has to sit down to look up to them. His dad is 6-3. His mom is about 5-10.
“There is size in both of our families,” Robinson Sr. said. “Uncles who are 6-7, cousins who are 6-5, 6-7, but there’s nobody on either side who was 6-6 or 6-7 at age 14.”
Robinson Jr. was always taller than his classmates and teammates and naturally was designated a post player — always under the basket on offense and defense — on all of his teams.
That started changing three years ago when he was in the sixth grade and he started practicing with his father’s team at Westside High School in Jacksonville.
“I just put him out there with the high school kids, and he started developing guard skills,” Robinson Sr. said. “Now, he wasn’t the biggest guy on the court all the time.”
There is size in both of our families ... but there’s nobody on either side who was 6-6 or 6-7 at age 14.” — HENRY ROBINSON SR.
Robinson Jr. is now a wing player who is comfortable playing anywhere on the court.
“His athleticism is off the charts,” Robinson Sr. said. “He’s one of the top defenders his age in the country and he’s unselfish. He likes getting everybody involved.”
Matanzas would be lucky to have one Division I prospect on its team, but it has two. Alex Davis, a 6-9 sophomore, is the other. Davis played in eight games with the Pirates last season after recovering from a broken tibia. He averaged 15.5 points and 13.3 rebounds.
Practicing against someone his own size every day is making Robinson Jr. stronger and more physical, he said.
The season is still days away, but he and Davis already have a nickname — the twin towers.
“Yeah, that’s what people are calling us already, the twin towers and stuff,” Robinson Jr. said.
He said the Pirates will try to take advantage of their height.
“The first few plays of the game we’re going to look inside and see if we can get Alex hot early,” he said.
On Nov. 11, a smattering of fans got to watch Davis and Robinson Jr. show off their dunking ability in a mini-exhibition and play in an intrasquad scrimmage in the Pirates’ Blue and White game. Robinson Jr.’s team lost, and though it was just a scrimmage, he sounded as if his team had just lost a playoff game.
“I could have done better to help us win, but that team did a good job with defense and bringing energy and effort,” he said. “My team, we should have done the same to match the energy, to make the game closer than what it was.”
He is looking forward to when the real games start. Matanzas plays its first three games on the road (Jacksonville Mandarin on Nov. 20, St. Joseph on Nov. 21 and Oakleaf on Nov. 24) before hosting Camden County, Georgia, on Nov. 25.
“In AAU, I play against a lot of the top players in the country, people my age. So, it’s good coming into high school and playing against people older than me, because it makes me better as a player and as a person,” he said.