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Athlete of the Week: Warren’s Robinson having strong season after suffering injury

Kima Robinson

FRONT ROYAL — Kima Robinson was a little scared to play basketball this season.

The Warren County senior had surgery for a torn meniscus in her right knee over the summer and wasn’t sure how it would hold up.

“Two weeks before basketball started, I told my best friend I was like I don’t think I can try out,” Robinson said before Warren County’s game Tuesday night. “I was just really scared. Coming to open gym, I wouldn’t put pressure on my knee at all.”

Robinson said about two weeks into the preseason she started to feel like her usual self. The Wildcats have benefited greatly as Robinson has put together another solid season.

She said she had the surgery in June and had to stop playing for her Amateur Athletic Union team.

The Northern Virginia Daily’s Athlete of the Week for the week of Jan. 16-22, Robinson said she had to do rehab on her knee from August until November.

“It was pretty tough. I thought it was really difficult,” Robinson said. “I had to start all over again and do all the exercises. I still have to do the exercises sometimes if my knee hurts and ice it and everything.”

Last week Robinson had one of her best weeks of the season.

With the Wildcats trailing rival Skyline, 24-11, at the half, Robinson helped bring them back by scoring nine of her 11 points in the second half.

Robinson, who transferred from Skyline to Warren County after her sophomore season, said she knew she had to step up against the Hawks.

“Because I went to Skyline and it was my last time playing them, I was like I just can’t have a horrible game against them my last time,” Robinson said. “So I just really need to improve myself and step up and I think I did pretty well.”

She followed that up with 14 points and seven rebounds in a victory over Central.

During the game she had two buzzer-beaters, including a 3-pointer at the end of the first period.

“I wasn’t expecting it because it wasn’t like a play that we ran, and they were like ‘shoot,'” Robinson said. “And I just shot it and it went in.”

Robinson said she shot the ball a little more than usual, because she felt like her team needed her to do so.

The 5-foot-3 point guard said that while she likes scoring, she enjoys dishing out assists as much as scoring.

She also likes defense. Robinson is averaging 4 1/2 steals per game.

“Defense is my favorite. I like defense more than offense,” Robinson said. “I’m really aggressive on defense. My dad’s always told me defense wins the games, and I think my defense is really good.”

Robinson spent her first two years at Skyline, and transferred to Warren County before her junior year. She said she was nervous at first, but she really likes it at Warren County.

She said Warren County girls basketball coach John Kelly helped her a lot with the transition basketball-wise.

“To move schools I think coach Kelly has helped me a lot with my confidence in playing,” Robinson said. “It’s like a family over here. It was a family over there, but I feel like it’s really a family over here. I’m close with everyone. I like it a lot here.”

Robinson said she does miss playing with her best friend, Skyline girls basketball player Nikea Whitemore. She said the two have been best friends since kindergarten.

“We were going to be the only seniors (on the team), and I feel kind of bad because I just left her,” Robinson said. “She’s the only one, but she’s doing good over there. She’s doing really good. She’s leading them. She’s a great leader.”

Robinson is doing some leading of her own. Kelly said that Robinson is a natural vocal leader, which helps him out a lot.

“Kima is the kind of person that as a coach you don’t need to inspire your players to step up and play because Kima will do it for you,” Kelly said. “That’s where she did best for us against William Monroe and Skyline (last week) was that she was the one inspiring us in the huddles to play hard and play harder.”

The Wildcats are 7-10 on the season, but had a lot of injuries earlier in the season. The team is finally healthy again, and Robinson said she’s optimistic about what they can do the rest of the way.

“We’re all getting back together,” Robinson said. “I think our biggest thing is defense. We’re really aggressive and we like to go get it. So us having everyone back together is really going to be good for the playoffs and the end of the season. We’re starting to finally come together, and I think that’s good.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com