Li’l Admiral

by July 02, 2013

Originally published in SLAM 170

by Mirin Fader / @mirinfader

Upon quick glance at the San Antonio Silver Stars roster—which features decorated WNBA vets Becky Hammon and Sophia Young—it’s understandable that you might miss the ever-slight, always-underrated Danielle Robinson.

“It’s not a big deal,” the 24-year-old Robinson says. “I’ve been an underdog my whole life, so I embrace it.”

She might have to embrace a new role soon, though. Entering just her third year in the WNBA, after being selected sixth overall out of Oklahoma, Robinson is poised for a breakout campaign. After all, last season the creative, quick point guard led the W in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7) during the regular season, earned Second-Team All-Defense honors (and a First-Team vote) and upped her overall play by a notch or two in the postseason (12 ppg, 4.5 apg, 1.5 tpg).

“In the Playoffs, everything is amplified. I had to raise my game so that the team would follow,” she says. “It doesn’t matter how young I am.”

Bucking stereotypes about her birthplace—San Jose, CA—Robinson is anything but laid back when it comes to life, especially basketball. She has a love for competition that propels her to work on her all-around game every year. Recently, that’s meant working on her long-range jumper.

“It’s always been important to me to be a complete player, especially being little,” Robinson says. “I’m just competitive in everything. It could be: Who makes the sandwich first? Who can get dressed first? I always wanted to win, and that’s what pushed me.”

It’s not just personal success that the PG craves, though. Robinson wants to help Hammon and Young carry the Silver Stars even further than the Western Conference Semifinals this summer.

“We’ve been in the Playoffs every year I’ve been here,” Robinson says. “We’re always overlooked, so we’re looking forward to getting back there and making some noise.”