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YouTube Gold: The Best Of David Robinson

In his prime, the Admiral was just about unstoppable

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors
Background: OAKLAND, CA - 1993: David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs dunks the ball during a game in 1993 at The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena in Oakland, California. 
Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

David Robinson was an unusual basketball player. A nerd at heart, he has always had a keen mind. If he had been born later, or if he had not turned out to be a brilliant basketball talent, Robinson might have ended up in Silicon Valley. He is a natural tinkerer and a guy who likes to solve problems. He could have been a great programmer and/or entrepreneur.

When he was a junior, Robinson was just 5-9. Over the next year, he grew to 6-6 and caught Navy's eye despite his minimal accomplishments. Coach Paul Evans later said he signed him because Robinson had large feet and he thought he would grow some more. Good bet: by his sophomore season Robinson was 7-0.

In other words, between his junior year of high school and his sophomore year of college, Robinson grew about 15 inches.

The remarkable thing was that, unlike most people who grow that much, Robinson retained most of his coordination. In fact, it probably improved.

He quickly emerged as a superb talent, taking Navy to the Elite Eight in 1986, where the Middies lost to Duke.

Robinson still had to fulfill his Naval commitment but after those two years, he was in the NBA, where he was an immediate star with the San Antonio Spurs, helping them to a 35-game improvement in his rookie season.

He is widely seen as one of the best players in NBA history and of course his son, Justin, was at Duke for his college career.