When Oregon State coach Craig Robinson heard cheering from the Haas Pavilion crowd last Thursday while walking out onto the court during warmups, he merely assumed the Cal team was taking the floor.
“All of a sudden, the clapping doesn’t subside and I don’t see their team coming out and I realized they’re clapping for me,” said Robinson, who is brother-in-law to new president Barack Obama. “I got to tell you, I was completely taken by surprise. It was almost as emotional as being at the inauguration. That kind of outpouring, I’m not used to.
“It says a lot about the student body, it says a lot about the fans at Cal. I was quite moved. Listen, I was as choked up as I’ve ever been. I had to fight back the emotions because we had a game to play. When I tell you I was taken by surprise and moved, I can’t explain it because I’ve never been a part of something like that.
“To know why they’re clapping, that they’re so happy and hopeful with what’s going on this country that they pay tribute to me just with my affiliation,” he said, “not only is it moving personally, but it makes me and my family happy that people think so highly of what President Obama has done and is doing and is going to do.”