Aug. 18, 2006
NORMAL, Ill. - Ronnie Carlwell's unselfishness, hard work and overall zest for life has earned him the 2006 Will Robinson Endowed Scholarship at Illinois State, marking the first repeat honoree in the history of the award.
The scholarship honors Robinson, the Redbird basketball coach from 1970 to 1975. He was the first African-American Division I college head basketball coach to serve at a predominantly white university. Robinson has served as a high school coach, college coach and NBA administrator over the past seven decades. A 2003 Missouri Valley Conference Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Robinson worked in the Detroit Pistons' front office for nearly 30 years after leaving Illinois State.
Proceeds from the 1994 Doug Collins Chicago Golf Outing and a special announcement reception established the Will Robinson Scholarship. The scholarship also funds an internship with the Pistons.
Redbird head coach Porter Moser values Carlwell's dedication and determination.
"Ronnie's work ethic and enthusiasm to succeed has been fun to watch develop," Moser said. "He has really gotten serious about so many of his goals. He had an internship with the Boys Club this summer and really did a great job working with the kids. He has such a passion for life and he has a strong passion to improve. It's been fun to watch him mature."
Carlwell played in 26 games last season and earned the first two starting assignments of his college career. He finished the year averaging 0.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per game, while ranking second on the team in blocked shots with 17.
"This is a great honor to receive twice," said Carlwell. "Coach Robinson is a great man. He overcame a lot of adversity and achieved great things. He was a winner, his players liked him and he was a leader. It really means a lot to me to receive an honor in his name."
The Will Robinson Endowed Scholarship is one of 15 endowed scholarships available to Illinois State student-athletes funded by private donors. It is also one of the eight fully endowed scholarships in athletics.
For more information about supporting this, or any other Illinois State University endowment scholarships, call The Redbird Club office at (309) 438-3803.