ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (WCCO) – The Robbinsdale Robbins are proof that desire, heart and passion do count for something. The Robbins are castoff players cut by teams at Armstrong and Cooper High Schools. However, adversity has not stopped these kids from chasing their hoop dreams.
“These are kids who really want to play the game. That’s first and foremost because we’re practicing at odd times in odd places. We’re practicing at 9 to 10 o’clock at night and we have to scrounge for gyms and all that type of stuff,” said Robbinsdale Robbins Coach Wally Langfellow.
The Robbins were hatched a year ago by Langfellow. He scooped up kids not good enough for varsity ball and gave them a chance to keep playing. The Robbins play 20-25 games a season and are part of the Minnesota Youth Athletic Association.
“There’s an opportunity for these kids to continue to play. Some of them want to continue to play and develop and maybe make varsity the following year. You just don’t know. Others are playing because they just want to keep playing the game,” said Langfellow.
“It’s pretty cool. I just like being out here, it’s a lot of fun. I did this for my friends, I wanted them to get back in basketball,” said Robbinsdale Robbins player Paul Langfellow.
“Sometimes when you see the varsity players stay out there for practice, it’s nice to know you can go somewhere to play basketball for a team too,” said Robbinsdale Robbins player Barflaan Tedo.
That’s the universal theme with this team — the Robbins love basketball and are grateful for the chance to keep playing.
“The Robbins are basketball nomads. A team without a home, they are the ultimate road warriors. Every game they play is in somebody else’s gym.
But that doesn’t deter the Robbins. All they need is an opponent and a heated building so they can play.
“We don’t have a home floor. We practice wherever, we plays games wherever. I basically have scheduled against a bunch of high school teams, you know generally B teams, freshman teams, sophomore teams that are looking for games,” said Langfellow.
“We like playing on the road because it’s funnier be in somebody else’s building,” said Tedo.
This unique collection of basketball players even embraces the past. The nickname Robbins can be traced back to the now defunct Robbinsdale High School.
“The kids know the history. It’s kind of fun because they know its old school and so they get a kick out of that too. We got the old colors and the old logo so it’s fun from that perspective as well,” said Langfellow.
Maybe the coolest thing about the Robbins is that three players who played on last year’s inaugural team are playing varsity ball this season.