Former Blue Springs South, Nebraska-Omaha guard earns pro contract
KJ Robinson’s earliest memories of basketball come from his days playing in youth leagues in Blue Springs and sitting next to his father at Blue Springs South High School games.
Soon, he was a junior starting guard on the Jaguars’ 2015 Class 5 state championship team and his senior year he led South to the state quarterfinals and was named all-state and The Examiner’s Player of the Year.
He earned a Division I scholarship to the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he again stood in the spotlight for four years, where he became the Mavericks’ 41st career 1,000-point scorer.
When the 6-foot point guard graduated, he dreamed of continuing with the sport he loved and dominated and that happened last week when he signed a professional contract to play with Horsens Idræts Club in Horsens, Denmark. Horsens IC plays in the Basketligaen, the highest-tier Danish professional basketball league.
"It’s like another dream come true for me,” Robinson said. “I'm excited to start my pro career in Denmark. I'm fortunate and blessed to pursue this opportunity in a great country and a strong league.
“When I was a little kid, playing in Blue Springs and going to high school games with my dad, I dreamed of playing pro ball. Allen Iverson was my favorite player and I dreamed of playing in the pros, and now it’s going to happen.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robinson is not sure when he will leave for Denmark, but his bags are packed and he’s ready to go once he gets that phone call.
“When I finished my basketball career at Omaha, I got an agent and he worked so hard to find a pro team,” Robinson said. “And I’ve never been to Denmark – I’ve never even been on a plane – so it will be a totally new and exciting experience for me.”
He’s crossing his fingers that playing pro ball will have the same family feel as Blue Springs South and Omaha.
“I was so lucky in Blue Springs to play for a team that was more like a family,” Robinson said. Then I signed with Omaha and it was the same – we were family. And I'd like to thank all my coaches at Omaha for helping me and putting me in situations to succeed, as well as my teammates over the years for supporting me. I'll miss the family environment with everyone in Omaha.
“But I can’t wait to see what it’s like in Denmark."
He will be one of three Americans playing for the Danish team.
Robinson was an All-Summit League honorable mention selection for Omaha in 2019-20. The Mavericks' leading scorer, he averaged 15.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game and became Omaha's 41st 1,000-point scorer in program history.
He finished his senior season with 26 double-figure scoring performances and was part of two Maverick squads in his four-year career to reach the Summit League championship final.
Robinson will join Horsens after graduating with his bachelor's degree in business administration from Omaha in August.
“It’s important to graduate, and I believe getting a degree is as important as anything I accomplished in college,” he added.
As a senior at Blue Springs South, Robinson averaged 25 points per game en route to all-state honors. He secured first-team all-conference, all-area and all-district awards three consecutive seasons.
As a junior, he helped the Jaguars win their first state championship with a record of 29-2. Playing alongside former University of Missouri forward Kevin Puryear, he averaged 17 points per game that season.
“I’ll never forget Coach (Jimmy) Cain and all the guys at South,” Robinson said. “I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. We had a lot of great talent on those teams my junior and senior years, but all we cared about was winning.
“Coach Cain talked about the importance of playing as a team and the importance of treating the guys on your team like family, and that’s one thing that made it all so special.”