Former Muskie Jeff Robinson is back in action as a Kentucky Enforcer

New semi-pro team plays at CCU
Former Muskie Jeff Robinson is back in action as a Kentucky Enforcer
Posted at 12:00 PM, Nov 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-05 12:00:07-04

Jeff Robinson is a rarity in recent Xavier hoops history: He planned to leave basketball behind after his 2013 graduation with a sociology degree.

He married his sweetheart, Brianna, before moving to Fairfield and landing a job as a mental health specialist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

It didn't take long for his love of the game to surge back.

"About six months to a year after I graduated, I kind of stopped playing basketball. And then I started missing it," Robinson said Thursday when he stopped by Xavier's practice.

Now, at 26, he's playing with a brand new American Basketball Association semi-pro team. Robinson is a forward for the first-year Kentucky Enforcers.

The team, which consists largely of former college players and pros who've competed overseas, practices in Florence and will play home games at Cincinnati Christian University on Glenway Avenue.

The Enforcers' home opener is Nov. 12 against the Indy Naptown All Stars.

Although former Musketeer Brad Redford also is on the roster, Robinson said the sharpshooter has other commitments.

Former Xavier Musketeer Jeff Robinson now plays for the Kentucky Enforcers.

The last time Robinson played organized ball, in 2012-13, he averaged 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Musketeers. That team went 17-14 (9-7 Atlantic 10) and was denied an NCAA Tournament bid after a heartbreaking 59-57 loss to St. Joseph's in the conference tournament.

The year before that, Robinson kicked in 3.6 points and 2.9 boards in a Sweet 16 season.

He still talks to a few old teammates from time to time -- Mark Lyons, Tu Holloway, Travis Taylor, Justin Martin -- but said they're "busy with their basketball careers" while he's consumed with a job and family. He has a 5-year-old son, Levin.

Robinson always was a quiet player. Coaches urged him to be more vocal and assertive throughout his career, so his favorite memory at Xavier was the time he became uncharacteristically loud.

"It was at the La Salle game my sophomore year, after my Top 10 play on ESPN where Kenny (Frease) passed me the ball. Prior to that, everyone yelled at me and told me I needed to show some emotion when I dunked the ball. So I just yelled for no reason," Robinson said.

Robinson said he's eager to play competitively for the Enforcers and looks forward to a schedule that features road games in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Georgia.

He doesn't regret his post-college path, but he does wonder where he might have landed.

"I do look back and think, 'What if I would have continued to play after college? Where would I be?' And just trying to be as modest as possible, I don't think I would have done too bad," Robinson said, smiling.