UNM commit Robbins credits a former Lobo -- and not just the obvious one

·4 min read

Jul. 16—There's more than a little New Mexico flavor to Hannah Robbins' basketball menu.

Despite spending her high school years in Arizona, the rising prep senior feels strong ties to the Land of Enchantment and says she can't wait to start playing college basketball at the Pit.

Robbins, a 6-foot guard who plays for Phoenix's PHH Prep, committed recently to join the University of New Mexico women's basketball program starting in 2022-23. She's an Albuquerque native and the daughter of former Farmington High School and UNM men's basketball standout Rob Robbins.

Hannah's roots with the Lobos don't stop there.

As a middle schooler, Hannah did individual training sessions with former Clovis High and UNM women's star Antiesha Brown, whom she credits for helping to expand her basketball skill set.

"I went to a lot of UNM games and Antiesha Brown was my favorite player," Hannah Robbins said in a phone interview. "I admired her game and I learned a lot from her. We worked on shooting and she taught me the Euro-step, which is something I use a lot."

Brown, who played professionally in Europe after graduating from UNM in 2015, laughed when told of the glowing review. A 1,000-point scorer in college, Brown now works in real estate sales in Albuquerque.

"I appreciate the love," Brown said, "but honestly, I think Hannah's just built for it. She's long, she's talented and she's a focused kid who wants to get in the gym and work. Lobo fans are going to love watching her play — and that includes me."

It also includes Rob Robbins, who accompanied his highly recruited daughter on numerous campus visits. He entertained hopes that Hannah would follow in his UNM footsteps but insists his influence on her choice of a college program was "absolute zero."

"We left that decision entirely up to her," said Rob, who still ranks ninth on New Mexico's career men's scoring list with 1,739 points. "I think it's great she's going to New Mexico. It's an incredible program and the facilities were really unmatched by the other schools we visited, but this was 100% her call."

Hannah's call ultimately came down to UNM and St. John's, and comfort played a significant role. In addition to New Mexico's facilities and coaching staff, Hannah felt good about joining a roster with local ties of its own.

She played against UNM freshman and Sandia High alum Viané Cumber growing up, and recently squared off against Volcano Vista rising seniors Jaelyn Bates and Natalia Chavez in an AAU tournament. Bates committed to UNM last week, and Chavez has received a scholarship offer from the Lobos.

"I think it's really cool that UNM is building with local players," Robbins said. "It's something you don't really see too often, but we will be very motivated to play there."

Asked about her on-court strengths, Hannah described a skill set similar to her father's. She may be hard-pressed to approach Rob's uncanny accuracy from the free-throw stripe (a program career-best 88%), but Hannah has demonstrated an ability to contribute on both ends of the court.

"I try to be versatile," she said. "I can rebound, push the ball, shoot and I really love to set up my teammates for success."

Brown admits she has a certain affinity for one of Hannah's skills.

"I love that Euro-step for her," Brown said. "Hannah's a good shooter, but attacking the basket makes her so much harder to defend."

Like Brown, Rob Robbins said he's looking forward to sitting in the Pit stands and watching Hannah perform. He admits to biting his tongue a bit when his daughter was considering playing at St. John's.

"I didn't say a word," Rob said, "but New York's a long way from Phoenix. I wanted to say, 'If you go to St. John's, you'll miss your dad more than you think you will.'

"Maybe she figured that out on her own."

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