Even in his high school days, Dave Robisch was a superstar.
Growing up in Cincinnati, his passion for basketball and his overall determination to win instantly made him fit to be a Jayhawk.
Robisch was only a sophomore when he made the varsity basketball team at Woodward High School in Ohio. But it was not until his family moved to Springfield, Illinois, that he garnered attention for his game.
Playing for the Springfield High School Senators, Robisch led his team to the state sectional. Robisch continued that success in his next season as a senior when he led his team to third place in the state tournament.
Robisch's skills and 6-foot-10 frame attracted national recognition.
It was those same skills that earned Robisch the attention of then-assistant Kansas basketball coach Sam Miranda. It only took Robisch one visit to Kansas to determine that that was the place for him. Although Robisch’s potential was noticed by many, his exceptional career at Kansas could not have been predicted.
"Dave was about the finest competitive shooter I've been around," former Kansas coach Ted Owens told the Lawrence Journal-World in 2005. "He did something I don't think I've seen anybody else master. He could bank in a shot straight out. Down the stretch, if you needed a basket, Dave would find a way to get the ball in there."
Robisch was a two-time All-American, three-time All-Big Eight selection and a two-time Big Eight Player of the Year. He was also a member of the 1971 Final Four team.
"As I look back, I think we had a great season," Robisch said of the 1970-71 season. "Obviously, there is disappointment. I have told a lot of people what sticks in the brain all the time ... The one shot I remember the most was one I made to put us ahead in the second half against UCLA, but they called me for traveling. I just wonder what would have happened if I hadn't been called for traveling."
Averaging 26.5 points per game during the 1969-70 season, Robisch has the fourth-highest scoring average in school history, ranking behind legends Wilt Chamberlain and Clyde Lovellette. When he was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2008, he was the second leading scorer (behind Clyde Lovellette) and he was among the list of top 10 scorers in Kansas history.
His jersey was retired in 2005.
"It's the culmination of the hard work I put in," Robisch said when his jersey was retired. "The great respect I have for the university and the basketball program ... what a great ride, what a great moment with family, teammates and coaches here."
After his time at Kansas, Robisch was drafted by the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association in 1971. He went on to play for the Indiana Pacers, Baltimore Claws, and the San Diego Conquistadors.
Robisch played seven seasons in the NBA, playing for teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and the Kansas City Kings. Although his professional career is not as stellar than his college career, Robisch scored 10,581 points and posted 6,173 rebounds in his 13 seasons as a professional basketball player.
— Edited by Frank Weirich