Former UConn Basketball Player Cliff Robinson Dies at 53

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Cliff Robinson, who played for the University of Connecticut from 1985-1989 and went on to play 18 seasons in the NBA, has died.

On Saturday, UConn Men's Basketball tweeted "the UConn basketball family mourns the loss of a legendary player and person, Clifford Robinson."

Robinson averaged 15.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in 109 games for the Huskies and he led UConn to the NIT Championship in 1988. 

Former UConn Men’s Basketball head coach Jim Calhoun said that Robinson became a necessity for the program to have the success that it had.

“No question, he was the trailblazer. He was the first guy. You know here's a guy that goes on to play an 18-year NBA career. It was really, really incredibly moving for me to see him evolve from a difficult early life into being a terrific NBA player and a terrific father and a businessman. He kind of set the standard of what hadn't been there but was yet to come," Calhoun said.

Robinson was named to the school’s all-century team in 1999 and his number, 00, was retired as part of the “Huskies of Honor“ ceremony in 2007. 

After college, Robinson was selected 36th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Draft. He set a franchise record by playing in 461 straight games to start his career.

In addition to the Blazers, he played for the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors and New Jersey Nets during an 18-year NBA career. Robinson averaged 14.2 and 4.6 rebounds per game in the NBA before retiring in 2007.

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