The Madison Mavericks announced that Curtrel Robinson, current La Follette high school boy’s basketball head coach, will be their new head coach for their inaugural season coming this April.
Play hard, play smart, play together. That is the mindset and philosophy that Coach Robinson said he brings to the table.
“I was honored to get the call,” Robinson said about being offered the job. “The vision of the owners really coincided with me.”
Part of the vision for the Madison Mavericks is building an opportunity for men to continue their basketball career.
“For the kids, I think it gives them another program to look up to and connect with,” Robinson said.
In Madison, Wisconsin, the biggest and most popular outlet for basketball is the Wisconsin Badgers.
Playing for the Badgers, or even getting the chance to interact with the Badgers team is rare for most kids. The Mavericks are looking to change that by providing a new team with more role models for the youth.
Not only will the Mavericks be great for young athletes, but they will also be great for the fans. With four division-one high schools in the city and the Badgers of the Big Ten at the collegiate level, the people of Madison have no shortage of love for the game of basketball.
“I believe there is a great basketball community that would support and see people from the area competing and representing Madison,” Robinson said.
Robinson currently coaches at his alma mater, La Follette High School. When Robinson took the position in 2014, the Lancers were coming off an 11-13 season.
Over the past six years, Robinson has re-established a winning culture in the La Follette program. This past season, Robinson had his team en-route for a State championship appearance before COVID-19 cut the season short. The Lancers finished 25-1, won the Big Eight Conference Championship and finished No. 4 in the state rankings.
“It’s kind of like a dream job,” Robinson said in an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal in 2014.
Robinson led La Follette to a state championship in 2002 as a player. After graduation, Robinson went on the play college basketball for Winona State where he won a division two national championship.
“I think if it wasn’t for my playing days and being a part of winning teams, I would not be coaching today,” Robinson said. “Due to that I’ve been confident in my approach to the game of basketball.”
This will be an interesting season for Robinson given that this will also be the first season in the Mavericks history. The team’s lineup has no shortage of talent and even features some of the best players who grew up in the Madison area.
The biggest issue facing Robinson and the Mavericks this offseason was the many roadblocks due to COVID-19.
“Being in unprecedented times, and specifically in Dane county, it’s been a struggle to be consistent, so we have to be creative,” Robinson said.
Over the winter, players spent a lot of time working out individually or attending team meetings over zoom. Robinson explained the new focus of the team is just to stay in the gym and stay together.
“Our focus is getting to know each other, stay in shape and play as much as possible right now until the season starts in April,” Robinson said.
Robinson and the Mavericks will make history Saturday, April 10 when they open up the season at Justagame Field House in the Wisconsin Dells.