Robinson's Return: A CSU-Pueblo basketball player's path back to the court

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 23:10:55-05

PUEBLO — A standout at Sierra High School, Aubrey Robinson followed in the footsteps of her older sisters as a basketball star in Colorado Springs.

But in a blink of an eye, Aubrey's love for the game was almost taken away.

“I’m blessed to be alive,” explained the CSU-Pueblo sophomore guard.

Ever since the 7th grade, Robinson knew she was special when she was playing the game she loved.

After a great high school career, Robinson had options to play college ball.

She ultimately chose to stay close to home and play for a family friend in Tommie Johnson, the head coach at CSU-Pueblo.

“She came she looked me in the eye and she knows my daughter pretty well and she said coach me as you coach her," said Johnson. "She was like - I want to be great”

After a transition year her first season, the Springs native had plans for a big sophomore year.

But on Sept. 2019, Aubrey’s life changed forever on a family reunion trip in Bolton North Carolina after a night out with family

“It was probably three or so in the morning," recalled Robinson. "My cousin was just driving and missed a turn and we hit a slab of cement in the road. We ended up flying across four lanes on the highway and hit an embankment”

Four out of the five people in the car survived.

Aubrey sustained injuries like a lacerated liver, nerve damage, punctured lungs, and head fracture millimeters from her brain

“My legs were twisted like a pretzel," Robinson explained. "My face is so bloody - I had cuts all over, but I wasn’t even thinking about that. When I woke up it was really a daze”

Aubrey was clinging to life but in the back of her mind the only thing that mattered was basketball and getting back on the court

“I wasn’t going to let this accident stop me from ever playing again," said Robinson. "Even with the doctors and nurses saying I do not think you should go back out there.”

So after a week in the hospital, Robinson returned home with one goal in mind.

“I just had to have a different type of mentality," explained the Colorado Springs native. "When I worked out before I was working out to try to be the best on the court - like I want to be better than my opponent. Now when I work out - I just wanna play.”

“She is a wonderful reminder of what hard work because I have to scale back and remember exactly she’s been through the last couple of years,” added Johnson.

A year removed from the accident - with plenty of physical therapy in between - Aubrey is back playing in games like she never missed a beat.

“In the past two weeks, I don’t think we have anybody who has practiced harder than Aubrey Robinson," said Johnson, with a smile on his face. "She wants to play, she wants to be great.”

“Every day that keeps me going in practices and stuff is knowing this day last year I was bedridden.”

Whoever said basketball was just a game has never heard of a comeback like this.