Robinson joins JT's 1,000-point club
bob ford/times news Jim Thorpe's Celeste Robinson (center) is shown with her father Gabriel and her mother Paulette during a ceremony celebrating her 1,000th career point.
Celeste Robinson always dreamed of scoring 1,000 points in her basketball career.
Thanks to her talent and hard work, that dream has finally become a reality.
On Feb. 8, during a game at Pine Grove, the 5-foot, 9-inch junior became the fifth girls' basketball player in Jim Thorpe High School history to reach that scoring milestone.
Needing only three points to become part of program history, Robinson scored 17 points to surpass a mark that thousands of high school athletes dream about, but only a select group actually reach.
"First of all, I never thought that was going to happen in my junior year," said Robinson, who sports 1,042 points in her career. "That's something you really can only dream about sometimes. I often wished for things like that, but I didn't think that was going to actually happen.
"The fact that it did and it happened so early, I'm speechless about it. I'm really excited. I'm really happy that I did it."
While it was a moment Robinson was glad to see happen with a year to spare in her varsity career, it was something Jim Thorpe head coach Rob Kovac saw happening from the first day Robinson walked onto the court as one of his varsity players.
Kovac has had the privilege of watching several other of his players achieve this milestone in the past. Robinson now becomes the fifth 1,000-point scorer under Kovac's guidance. Meanwhile, she only becomes the second player to do so in her junior season. The other was Pleasant Valley girls' basketball coach, Nadia Gauronsky, who played for Kovac at Panther Valley High School from 1997-99.
Yet, Kovac feels something special separates Robinson from the pack of Panthers he had coached years ago - Gauronsky, Trish O'Gurek, who is one of Kovac's assistant coaches, Esther Hoffer, and Lacey Gonzalez - in attaining this individual feat on the hardwood.
"To be a 1,000 point scorer, you obviously have tremendous talent," Kovac said. "Each kid I have coached in the past - whether it's been Gauronsky, Gonzalez, Hoffer or O'Gurek - before that, they all had special skills in their own right. The thing that maybe separates Celeste from the other kids is Celeste has such unlimited potential.
"She's just blessed with tremendous athleticism. I think she has just only begun to scratch the surface of what she can become as far as a scorer. Her athleticism is just unmatched, especially with the quickness she possesses in the open court and so forth."
It may be those special traits Robinson entails on the court that may have helped her compile 264 points as a freshman, 252 point as a sophomore, which she was slowed down a bit by an injury, and then surpassed the 1,000 point plateau this season with 526 points. But, Robinson still feels she was able to do so thanks to what it takes while she is away from the competitive court.
"Well, number one, it takes dedication and hard work," Robinson said. "There are times that you may not want to go outside and practice because it's way too hot out there or something like that. But, by the end of the day, you got to do it because this is what you are and you love the sport. So, you have to go out there and do it."
Showing signs of unselfishness, the talented Olympian hoopster wanted to sign off by sending kudos to her supporting cast - both on the court and off - who she stressed helped her take the necessary steps in reaching this honorable milestone.
"It comes down to your teammates believing in you because you can't do it by yourself," Robinson said. "It's definitely a team sport. My team scored 1,000 points with me. It was something I could have done by myself.
"I want to say thank you to them as well as my coaches, my family too because everyone contributed to it. It's 1,000 points for everyone. Not just me."