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Jan. 2, 2006

by Cathy Bongiovi-Stewart

Freshman Abby Robertson, a 6-3 post player from Springfield, Va., grew up in an athletic family. Her father Bruce is a former baseball player and an avid fan of the game, while her mother Chris is a former track star from England.

“My dad played throughout high school. It’s still a passion of his,” Robertson shared. “We love the Yankees. My mom was a high-jumper. She ran track in England. She actually participated in the Commonwealth Games. She was pretty good.”

Apparently the Robertsons, who met on a blind date, passed along their athletic genes to their daughter. She was rated the 38th best player in country by All-Star Girls’ Report (12th best center) and 42nd by Blue Star Index coming out of high school.

“When I was seven, I was thrown into it, because I was tall,” Robertson said of her start in basketball. “I never really knew anything about the sport, or if I was going to like it or be any good at it.”

Perhaps her height was a factor.

“I was 5-8 when I was eight,” Robertson said.

Averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds per game, she scored over 1,200 points in her prep career at Lake Braddock High School. In 92 prep games, she knotted 73 double-double performances and finished as Lake Braddock’s all-time rebounding leader and second all-time leading scorer.

Robertson made the Olympic Festival team and attended Nike All-American Camp. She won a gold medal with the 2003 Nike Select Invitational Team in France. A two-time Street & Smith’s Honorable Mention All-American, Robertson also earned second team all-state, first-team all-region, and all-district honors as well as District Player of the Year accolades.

Additionally, Robertson was a four-year starter for her AAU team- the Fairfax Stars- which won the national championship in 2001.

“Abby is one of the top players in the state of Virginia and the top post in the country,” head coach Debbie Ryan said. “She finishes well around the basket, and she runs the floor extremely well for a post player.”

The forward has adjusted to collegiate life quite well. Her family lives close enough to attend all of her games. But Robertson’s learned some life lessons along the way- lessons she will carry with her throughout her lifetime.

“The complete adjustment from high school to college- being away from home and really being responsible for yourself,” Robertson said of her biggest adjustment.

Another adjustment Robertson and her freshman teammates will have to make is to the physical, intense play of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Three of her former teammates- Marissa Coleman (Maryland), Brittany Mitch (Duke), and Laura Haskins (Virginia Tech)- also play in the ACC.

Robertson is excited to face new challenges and is focused on her goals for the season.

“Obviously, have a winning season and get to the (NCAA) tournament,” she revealed. “Just improve overall as a player and have fun.”

Enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences, Robertson is undecided on a course of study.

“I’m looking at sociology or psychology,” she shared.

Now in her initial campaign for the Cavaliers, Robertson has seen action as a reserve. She averages 2.2 ppg, but she has an ambitious list of goals to accomplish before she graduates.

“Win a national championship. Win the ACC Championship. Graduate. Walk the Lawn in May of 2009,” Robertson said.

Abby’s Favorites
Ice cream: Strawberry
Color: Blue
WNBA Team: Washington Mystics
Actor: Will Ferrell
Actress: Kate Hudson
Movie: Star Wars III
Book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Children’s Book: Hello, God, it’s me, Margaret

My pregame rituals are …
drinking a slurpee and getting my hair braided.

I love to cook …
anything that involves me taking it out of a box and pressing start!

Three words that best describe me are …
social, spontaneous, caring.

My advice to a young athlete is …
dream big and don’t let anyone discourage you.

The best thing about being a Cavalier is …
working with great coaches, belonging to a great basketball program, and competing in the ACC.

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