It’s truly the end of an era with the death of Chemainus basketball superstar Bill Robinson.
High school basketball at Chemainus Secondary School was the lifeblood of the community during much of the 1960s, ’70s and into the early ’80s before it fizzled out.
At the centre of the basketball revolution was the amazingly-talented Robinson, who could shoot the lights out and dribble through a pack of players like they weren’t even there.
Robinson’s life was far from perfect and he never pretended that it was. That was one of the great things about him. Honesty was the best policy.
Robinson always worked hard at perfecting his game. When he wasn’t in the gym, he was in the outdoor court outside the school or at home just shooting and playing basketball for long hours at a time.
Robinson’s dad made him a hoop that was smaller than regulation so he could perfect his accuracy. By the time he got back to shooting at a regulation hoop, it must have seemed as wide as the Pacific Ocean to him.
He was also very good at soccer and baseball, but basketball was obviously where his passion came out.
Robinson certainly faced his share of adversity in a game of big men. But he never let his size get in the way of achieving his goals, with the Summer Olympics in 1976 being the ultimate reward. Robinson also had took a shot at pro basketball which says a lot about his character and determination.
Coming from a small community never hindered Robinson, either. He always felt good players could just as easily come from here, as anywhere else.
Most importantly, he inspired an entire community to dream big and push hard for whatever you wanted to achieve.
Folks in Chemainus and the surrounding area could only marvel at how he became such a symbol of a work ethic that put him and the town into the international spotlight.
There might not ever be another Bill Robinson from this area. His legacy will endure, as someone who went into uncharted territory and succeeded.