The Comet football team was awoken from its fantasy of striking it rich and becoming professional athletes.
Former international basketball player Dr. Mark Robinson gave an inspiring presentation at the African-American Male Leadership Conference to the Contra Costa College football players on March 22 in the Gym Annex Building.
Dr. Robinson, who earned his doctorate in education with an emphasis in sports counseling from the University of Manchester and played sports professionally for 12 years in Europe and Central America, provided a much needed and respected outlook on a professional athletes’ life decisions.
Robinson made it clear that he couldn’t force anybody to go to class or turn in their homework. But Robinson did say he would prepare student-athletes for the biggest game of their lives — life after sports.
“You fellas who play sports are living an illusion and I’m here to wake you up,” he said.
“My expectations are high,” Athletic Director John Wade, who also spoke at the event, said. “I expect you to get good grades, I expect you to want to succeed and I expect you to accomplish all of your goals.”
The speaker of the hour, Robinson, focused on giving the young athletes a reality check, making sure they stay on the correct path.
Robinson kept the audience tuned in with his humorous and personal experiences dealing with women, his son’s sagging jeans and money management.
“I like how he got down to our level as students, breaking everything down in a way that’s understandable for us,” Comet outside linebacker Aaron Norton said.
Linebacker Antonio Rustin said he liked how Robinson was forward about having set goals and the importance of not only setting high goals but reaching them.
Robinson told the athletes that he was providing them with an opportunity to develop a plan for their journey in life because he believes they are the future.
“Our identity makes us unique,” Robinson said. “People with a strong identity have strong commitment.”
Robinson said he hoped that the student-athletes understand they need to have other options besides athletics in their futures and that they need to plan for every transition they will go through in life.
Wade said, “Each person got something different (from the event), as long as individually they all connected on something — whether it was having a plan, chasing their dreams and going global or having an entrepreneurship mindset.”