Last night, David Robinson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame (www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh96tCHVjC4). He was a great basketball player, leading the San Antonio Spurs to two NBA championships and the American basketball team to a bronze and two gold medals in the Olympics.
However, as good as he was as a basketball player, David Robinson is even better as a role model of good character.
He welcomed the talented Tim Duncan to the Spurs. Rather than treating Mr. Duncan as a competitor for the spotlight, he credited his younger teammate with leading the Spurs to his final championship with the team. He shifted the focus to someone who could have been his rival, but who became a great friend.
Early in his NBA career, David Robinson visited the fifth graders at Gates Elementary School in San Antonio. He offered each child a $2000 scholarship upon finishing school and enrolling in college. More than living up to his word a few years later, Mr. Robinson gave each student an $8000 scholarship upon meeting his conditions.
In 2001, David and his wife Valerie Robinson founded the Carver Academy, a private San Antonio Christian school open to all races and socio-ecomonic groups. The academy named after George Washington Carver emphasizes the development of academic and leadership skills among its students.
Recognizing Mr. Robinson's outstanding contributions to society, the NBA acknowledges a player each month for charitable efforts. The winner receives the David Robinson Plaque bearing this inscription: "Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece."
"A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold" (Proverbs 22:1).