“Basketball never stops” is a current marketing slogan from Nike, but it also describes the kinetic lifestyle of elite prospects like potential All-American Robert Hubbs III. It’s the price a young man pays for going from a local prospect to a regional target to a national recruit. This Saturday, Robert will be playing in the Big Strick Classic on 138th street in Manhattan, after scrimmaging the night before at the courts of Dyckman Park. It’s more than one thousand miles away from his hometown of Newbern, Tennessee, a small town less than a two hour drive north of Memphis. For Hubbs, a high-scoring wing with a disarming smile, this is the culmination of a four month cross-country tour that has seen him raise his profile nationally, while garnering awards and hard earned college scholarships from programs such as Duke University.
As part of the coaching staff with both Dyer County High School and M33M AAU program, Robert Hubbs II has been working very closely with his now 6’5″ 190 lb. son on skill development and helping to build his core strength. They work on taking roughly two hundred and fifty jump shots per day. It has enabled Robert, always an explosive athlete, to have the confidence to take deep three-pointers and it has forced defenders not to play as far off of him as they did in the past, when they primarily feared his penchant for attacking the rim.
In April, at the Jack Jones Shootout at the Briarcrest Christian School, Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University saw Robert Hubbs III for the first time and, within days, the United States Men’s Olympic basketball coach formally offered the rising senior an opportunity to be a Duke Blue Devil. Hubbs, a Lakers and Kobe Bryant fan, has steadily seen his rankings rise as he’s performed well at such events as the Real Deal in the Rock in Arkansas, the Reebok Breakout Challenge in Philadelphia, the Best Buy Classic in Minneapolis, and, most recently, at the Fab 48 in Las Vegas.
Forming a potent one-two punch with friend and fellow Duke recruit 6’9″ Austin Nichols, the M33M tandem utilized the pick-and-roll and high-low passing game effectively and consistently. Defensively, Nichols, a skilled, highly athletic forward from Colliersville, Tennessee, also provided shot-blocking with his 7’2″ wingspan, while Robert Hubbs gave Coach Ernie Kuyper of M33M the coveted defensive versatility of being able to guard all three perimeter positions with his athleticism and length. Austin Nichols magnanimously said of his running mate, “Oh, he’s a great player. He can run, he can jump, he can shoot the ball. He’s a great ball-handler. He’s just a great player overall. He’s been great to play with.”
Hubbs will be sitting down with his mother, Lesia, and father, Robert II, soon and trimming his list of potential destinations for college, but he’d like to play in front of a passionate fan base, as he has grown accustomed to with the Dyer County HS Chippewa, and compete for a National Championship.
We spoke about the recruiting process, his rapid ascent, playing with Austin Nichols, his explosiveness, and working with his father.
For others who haven’t seen you play, how would you describe your game?
I like to attack the rim, get players involved, and make everybody, including myself, involved.
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