David Robinson is concidered one of the top centers of his era. His basketball career and work in charity has made him a respected public figure on and off the basketball court.
Robinson is living proof of the old adage that good things come to those who wait. A 1987 graduate with a mathematics degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, Robinson honored a commitment to serve two years in the Navy before joining the NBA. According to plan, Robinson entered the NBA as a 24-year-old rookie with the Spurs in 1989-90. One of the most gifted and versatile athletes in the NBA, the former Navy midshipmen was the NBA Rookie of the Month all six months of the season, an All-Star at midyear and then an easy choice for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award at season’s end.
He averaged 24.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.89 blocks, shooting .531 from the floor. He set Spurs rookie records in nearly every category, leading the team in scoring 46 times and in rebounding 61 times. One of only two Spurs to play in all 82 games, Robinson ranked 10th in the league in scoring, second in rebounding and third in blocked shots. He had a career-high 12 blocks against the Minnesota Timberwolves and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team at season’s end.
Within his first three seasons, Robinson established himself among the best in the league. His early achievements included All-NBA First Team selections in 1991 and 1992, NBA All-Defensive First Team berths in 1991 and the 1992 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Robinson also was the first player in NBA history to rank among the top five in rebounding, blocks and steals in a single season. His excellence earned him a second consecutive All-NBA First Team selection and his third straight NBA All-Star berth. The end to that season was highlighted with his selection as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
A contemporary of Hakeen Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing, Robinson posted career averages of 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game and won two championships -- the second one in his final season -- to stake his claim as one of the legends of the NBA.
Robinson's lasting legacy was also defined by his status one of the pre-eminent philanthropists in all of professional sports. On March 23, 2003, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that future winners of the NBA Community Assist Award would receive the David Robinson Plaque, with the inscription, "Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece."
Among Robinson's charitable achievements was his $9 million commitment toward the construction and operation of The Carver Academy, an independent school for San Antonio students from a culturally diverse community.