By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
SAN ANTONIO — As it turned out, the Thunder’s entry into the Western Conference Finals isn’t the only Oklahoma basketball connection to the Alamo City.
Former Sooner All-American Danielle Robinson is in her fourth year with the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars. She was selected by the franchise with the sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft.
Robinson is coming off a season in which she made the Western Conference All-Star team as a point guard and led the league in assists per game.
At OU, Robinson became the starter in only her second game. She proceeded to become one of two players in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to rack up 2,000 points, 700 assists and 300 steals. She left the program second all-time in assists to Stacey Dales and second all-time in steals to LaNeishea Caufiled.
Robinson took time out of her schedule for a Q&A session with The Transcript, just as the Stars were beginning their season last week.
Question: What is it like being a professional basketball player?
Answer: It’s been awesome. I came into a great organization. Coming here, the energy is obviously amazing right now. Especially with the Spurs being in the playoffs and the Western Conference Finals. We’re just riding that wave and getting our season started.
Q: What is the biggest difference from being in college to playing in the pros?
A: You’re just grown. You have your own schedule when you’re on the road. The meals aren’t scheduled. You can pretty much do what you want. You just really have to be mature about it and know what you need to do as far as getting treatment and eating right. That’s definitely different as far as time management. Really, just having your own schedule.
Q: What did you learn at OU that helps you today with the Stars?
A: It’s a lot about body language. Obviously I’m an aggressive player. I have a lot of emotions and stuff like that. Coach (Sherri) Coale helped me a lot to figure that out: When to be really passionate and when to calm it down, because the team is always looking at you. I knew I couldn’t come in here screaming at veteran players. She helped me figure out my emotions.
Q: What do you miss most about Oklahoma?
A: I miss everything about it. Honestly, it was probably the best four years that I’ve had away from home. I really grew up out there. I had amazing friends, great teammates, great coaches. The fans were amazing. You can tell when we’re in Tulsa, they all come out. It’s incredible the support that we have. I get tweets (@justDROB) every day. I miss everything about it. Even from the academic standpoint, our professors were amazing. The atmosphere of Norman is incredible.
Q: How would you describe San Antonio?
A: It is bigger, but I think it has the same feel. To me it’s not that quick of a pace. Obviously, I’m from California. It’s a different transition. But everything is really spread out here. In Norman, there are a couple of main streets and everybody knows everybody. It wasn’t a bad transition for me once I figured out how to get from the apartments. I think it’s still the same feel as the support (at OU).
Q: How tough is it to watch the Spurs and Thunder play in the conference finals?
A: I have to root for the Spurs. I just really enjoy watching them. I like to watch Patty (Mills) and Tony (Parker) play. It’s definitely hard because when I was in Oklahoma, I went to all the Thunder games and I supported them. This is home now.
Q: Out of point guards Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook, who does your game most resemble?
A: I think it’s a combination of both. I think my athleticism really reflects Russell more. He is just on a different level of athleticism. Then Tony, with his leadership and decision making, that’s what I get from him.
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