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Craig Robinson interview.

On the publicity tour for "A Game of Character: A Family Journey from Chicago's Southside to the Ivy League and Beyond" (Gotham Books), Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson estimates he's told the story of playing pick-up basketball with Barack Obama to parse the character of his sister's new boyfriend no less than 80 times.

While this anecdote has drawn repeated attention on talk shows, in print interviews and is the focus of many reviews, this moment is just a small part of Robinson's worthwhile biography, which begins in 1960s Chicago and concludes in contemporary Corvallis, Oregon.

It would have been easy for Robinson to capitalize on his unexpected fame and write primarily about his brother in law but "A Game of Character" is a book that instead tells the complete story of Robinson's life long before he became "Michelle Obama's big brother."

The tales of growing up under the watchful eye of Marian and Fraser Robinson have a distinct charm, but it is the time spent at Princeton playing for Pete Carril that should be especially worthwhile to visitors of this site. The two time Ivy League Player of the Year is the first former Tiger I can recall who has written in detail about what it was like to play for Carril, and the highs and lows of that experience shape Robinson as he first sets into the financial world and then returns to basketball as an assistant coach at Northwestern.

This morning I had a chance to speak with Coach Robinson about his story, his time at Princeton and his life since the release of this book. Robinson joined me by phone for over 32 minutes and I think you will find this wide-spanning discussion a worthwhile one that bypasses the questions Robinson has already answered ad nauseum.

Stuart Schulman said,

May 24, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

Very interesting and entertaining interview. Excellent job, as always!

Jon Solomon said,

May 24, 2010 @ 9:12 pm

Thanks, Stuart! I really appreciated the questions you submitted and I'm glad I got to ask a few of them today.

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