Remembering Crane's Tim Robinson

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Remembering Crane's Tim Robinson

Chet Walker, a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame who starred on the Chicago Bulls teams from 1969 to 1975, said he still can't understand why his former Bradley teammate Tim Robinson didn't make it to the NBA.
"Tim was a great player. He had all the talent that you could ask for in a young player. He had enough talent to go to the NBA," Walker said. "He was agile, could run the court, rebound and shoot. He had all the talent. I don't know why he didn't go to the NBA. He had the talent to be a star."
Robinson, a 6-foot-5 All-State forward from Crane, and Du Sable's Mack Herndon were recruited by celebrated Bradley coach Chuck Orsborn after graduating from high school in 1959. Because of NCAA rules, they couldn't play as freshmen. But they started with Walker on Bradley's 1960-61 team.
James Tim Robinson, who later played for six years with the Harlem Globetrotters, died last Wednesday after a long illness. He was 72.
In the 1950s, Crane's Tim Robinson was one of the icons of city basketball, along with St. Elizabeth's Arthur Hicks, Du Sable's Paxton Lumpkin and Charlie Brown, Marshall's Art Day and George Wilson, Dunbar's Mel Davis and Bernie Mills, Parker's Tom Hawkins and Wells' Frank Burks.
"I considered Tim one of my heroes at that time, he and Bernie Mills and Frank Burks," said Wilson, who led Marshall to state championships in 1958 and 1960. "He was a smooth player, shy but strong. He could jump and had a great jump shot."
Wilson, Robinson, Mills, Burks and other standouts of that era played regularly in the summer league at Marillac House at California and Jackson and at the 39th Street Park.
In 1959, Wilson's Marshall team beat Robinson and Crane 61-58 for the Public League title. As a sophomore in 1957, Robinson started on a Crane team that defeated Marshall 66-61 for the city title, then lost to Evanston in the supersectional.
"I got to know Tim, not just as a basketball player," Wilson said. "As you come through life, you meet special people and he was a special person in my life, in sports and life."
Chicagoan Ernie Jones, who played with Robinson on the Globetrotters for two years, recalled that his teammates used to refer to Tim as "Tim the Rim" for his jumping ability. Robinson, Meadowlark Lemon, Tex Harrison, Murphy Sammons and another Chicago native, Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton from Du Sable, spent a lot of time together on globe-trotting trips.
"Playing with the Globetrotters was a different thing," Jones said. "When it came to serious basketball, Tim played very well. At the end of the year, they selected players to play against the College All-Stars. Tim was one of those who was selected. He could play today. He was very versatile and a great athlete. And he was very much a gentleman."
Dr. Conrad Worrill, a longtime friend, still recalls how Robinson's Crane team defeated his Hyde Park team 60-59 in the 1957 Public League semifinals. "It was Marshall and Crane and Dunbar and Du Sable at that time, the most dominant teams in the city," he said.
"Tim was a gifted athlete. He played all positions in high school. He was the forerunner to players like Simeon's Jabari Parker, tall guys who could play all positions. Tim played guard and forward at Crane. He could handle the ball, shoot and rebounds. He was phenomenal in all phases of the game."
Born in Mississippi, Robinson's family moved to Chicago when he was an infant. His college career was cut short after the 1960-61 season when he and Alphra Saunders from Dunbar were dismissed from Bradley in the wake of allegations of point-shaving.
Robinson was employed by the Department of Human Services for more than 20 years as a social service worker in Chicago. In later years, he became involved with his church, Liberty Temple Full Gospel Church, and was preparing to become a minister.
He is survived by Yvonne "Bonnie," his wife of 38 years, three children--Christy, Bryant and Raquel -- and seven grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday at Golden Gate Funeral Home, 2036 W. 79th. Services will be conducted on Friday at Liberty Temple Full Gospel Church, 2233 W. 79th St. The wake will be at 10 a.m., the funeral at 11 a.m.

CSN to carry live coverage of Class 1A-4A IHSA Girls Basketball State Championships

CSN to carry live coverage of Class 1A-4A IHSA Girls Basketball State Championships

CSN Chicago will be carrying live coverage of the IHSA Girls Basketball State Championships beginning on Friday and Saturday with Class 1A and 2A. Each telecast will be streamed live on CSNChicago.com and IHSA.tv, and will be made available via the NBC Sports app on tablets and smart phones.

CSN will also air highlights packages throughout the weekend, and live stream every postgame press conference.

Viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com's Channel finder or IHSA.org for complete channel location details for all games throughout the state. 

For a full list of carriers and more information about CSN's live streaming service, viewers are urged to visit the following link: http://www.csnchicago.com/live-faq .  

Here's what the schedule looks like this weekend:

Friday, Feb. 24:

11 a.m. – Class 1A Semifinal No. 1: Harvest Christian Academy (Elgin) vs. Annawan 

12:45 p.m. – Class 1A Semifinal No. 2: Unity (Mendon) vs. Calhoun (Hardin)

5:30 p.m. – Class 2A Semifinal No. 1: Byron vs. Central [Coop] (Camp Point)

7:15 p.m. – Class 2A Semifinal No. 2: St. Edward (Elgin) vs. Central Catholic (Bloomington) 

Ssaturday, Feb. 25:

11 a.m. – Class 1A: Consolation game (Teams TBD)

12:45 p.m. – Class 1A: Championship game (Teams TBD)

5:30 p.m. – Class 2A: Consolation game (Teams TBD)

7:15 p.m. – Class 2A: Championship game (Teams TBD)

High School Lites Week 13 basketball capsules

High School Lites Week 13 basketball capsules

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school basketball games across Chicagoland for another basketball edition of High School Lites. Catch the show live at 11 p.m. Friday on CSN and streaming at CSNChicago.com. 

This week's show has a postseason feel to it with a lot of Class 1A and Class 2A regional championships being decided on the boys side while the girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals will also have highlights.

We'll have highlights from the Interstate Eight as well.

And this week's Wintrust Athlete of the Week is St. Rita senior wrestler Austin O'Connor as he just became the 15th wrestler in IHSA history to win four state championships. O'Connor completed his second consecutive unbeaten season last weekend and finished his IHSA career 181-4 as he's planning on going to North Carolina.

FRIDAY

Plano at Sandwich, 7:00 p.m. -- The regular season is still finishing up and this one is important in the Interstate Eight. Plano (20-6, 9-1) is trying to hold on to a one-game conference lead. Sandwich (15-11, 8-2) is only a game behind in conference play going into Senior Night, so it should be a great atmosphere. 

Luther North vs. Waldorf, 7:00 p.m. 1A St. Benedict Regional Championship -- No. 1 seed Luther North is hoping for its second regional title in three years as they take on Waldorf. Luther North (19-8, 9-2) advanced by beating North Shore Country Day in the semifinals. Waldorf (19-8, 10-0) went through the Lake Shore Athletic unscathed as they are the No. 5 seed. Waldorf beat No. 4 seed Ida Crown to advance earlier this week.

No. 21 Uplift at No. 11 Orr, 7:00 p.m. 2A Orr Regional Championship -- The game of the night features two legitimate Class 2A state title contenders -- meeting for a regional title. It's unfortunate that these two fixtures in the CSN Preps Power Rankings have to play so soon but this should be interesting. Orr (17-5, 8-2) was one of the Red-West's toughest teams this season as junior Raekwon Drake leads a balanced team. Uplift (22-5, 10-0) was bounced early from the Public League Playoffs by Farragut so they'll be motivated in this one. The Red-North champions feature the dynamic duo of brothers Demarius Jacobs (senior; Southern Illinois) and Markese Jacobs (sophomore; Kansas).

Leo at U-High, 7:00 p.m., 2A Chicago U-High Regional Championship --  Another quality matchup of city teams in Class 2A as Leo travels to U-High. The Lions (19-8, 5-2) finished second in the Catholic South this season as they move up to Class 2A after a runner-up finish in Class 1A last season. U-High won a Class 2A regional in its own gym in dramatic fashion last season as they're hoping to earn more hardware on their home floor.

Latin at DePaul Prep, 7:00 p.m. 2A DePaul Prep Regional Championship -- DePaul Prep will be favored in this one as they host Latin in another Class 2A regional final. The Rams (19-9, 7-2) were one of the top teams in the Catholic North this season as they're a state title contender in Class 2A. Latin (12-12, 6-6) has some young talent, including sophomore 

Timothy Christian at IC Catholic Prep, 7:00 p.m, 2A IC Catholic Prep Regional Championship -- This should be a good matchup in Class 2A as Timothy Christian heads to IC Catholic Prep. Timothy Christian (17-10, 8-4) finished second in the Metro Suburban Red this season while IC Catholic (20-7, 10-2) was second in the Metro Suburban Blue. These two teams played on Jan. 20 with IC Catholic winning 61-46. 

GIRLS BASKETBALL CLASS 1A & 2A SEMIFINALS

Harvest Christian Academy vs. Annawan, 11:00 a.m. -- Harvest Christian Academy (29-3) is favored in this one as they haven't lost since Dec. 9. The Lions are led by junior guard Alyssa Iverson as she averaged 19.5 points per game this season. Annawan (26-8) also hasn't lost in 2017 as they have a balanced lineup that doesn't feature one senior on the roster. 

Mendon (Unity) vs. Hardin (Calhoun), 12:45 p.m. -- The second Class 1A semifinal features Mendon against Calhoun. Mendon (23-10) got hot at the right time as they've won five straight tournament games since dropping its regular-season finale. Calhoun (27-5) is led by senior forward Grace Baalman as she's averaging 23.2 points per game.

Byron vs. Camp Point (Central ) - 5:30 p.m. -- A couple of 30-win teams matchup in the first game of the girls Class 2A semifinals. Byron (32-2) hasn't lost since Jan. 6 as they've won all but one of those games by double digits. Camp Point (Central) has bounced back nicely since losing the regular season finale as they're a balanced scoring team. 

St. Edward vs. Bloomington Central Catholic - 7:15 p.m. -- Another Elgin-area school headlines this one as St. Edward faces Bloomington Central Catholic. The Green Wave (27-5) are led by senior guard Maddie Spagnola as she's averaging 21.2 points per game.