Frank Robinson is a nice guy.
Fresh from practice, Robinson sat on a bench looking intently over his Sidekick. He looked comfortable.
Robinson looked up.
"Hello," he replied. "How are you doing?"
With an exchange like that, it's hard to believe that Robinson wasn't always so polite.
On this Tuesday afternoon, outside of California State University, Fullerton's Kinesiology building, the red shirt senior would tell his story.
Hailing from Compton, Calif., the now 23-year-old Robinson spent the most of his teen years on the move.
He went from Little Rock High to Chatsworth High, then went to Sylmar High.
Eventually, he ended his high school career on the East Coast at Main Central Institute.
"When I moved to Sylmar, it was just for something temporary," Robinson said. "I had just started playing basketball."
Robinson's first sport was actually football, which he began playing in the fifth grade.
"My cousin played football and basketball. I started playing basketball with him outside somewhere. I didn't like the … " Robinson did a short pantomime of a dribbling and shooting motion. " … It's stupid."
At the time, he liked football more because it was a "violent sport" that involved hitting and catching.
"It was fun," Robinson said. "I caught my first pass and I loved it. I was like, 'oooh' and everyone was cheering. I loved that feeling, you know? It just started growing on me."
His mind would eventually change as he began to enjoy basketball more when he realized he wasn't that good at it.
"I think I liked the challenge [of playing basketball] more than anything," Robinson said.
Robinson's competitive spirit put him up against his biggest opponent: himself. To win would be to master his new sport.
After high school, Robinson moved on to continue his craft at East Carolina.
"East Carolina was fun," Robinson said. "I loved it."
There, Robinson would average 3.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in 26 games. Despite enjoying his time in his year with the Pirates, Robinson decided to leave.
He attributed his departure to his coach getting fired and the break up of Conference USA.
He then had to figure out what was next.
"Coming back home was not my ... " He started to hesitate a little. "... First option, but it was the option that I figured I should take care of, and just come back home and be close to my family."
The distance was too much for Robinson.
"I was far away; I went from Maine to North Carolina. And I couldn't imagine myself, now that I've been back, I can't imagine myself doing that again."
Robinson had to look over his options. He had San Diego State, University of Las Vegas, Nevada or he could have stayed back east and went to George Mason or Saint Bonaventure's. Robinson also said he could have stayed in the Conference USA or went to Pittsburgh with his roommate.
But in the end, he found himself at CSUF by way of a now-graduated Titan basketball player, Bobby Brown.
"Me and Bobby Brown played on the same traveling team," Robinson said. "It's funny because I came up to school with him here one day with no intentions of coming here or anything."
Robinson already knew CSUF basketball coaches Bob Burton and Jason Levy. Talking to Brown and the coaches, Robinson knew he would be in good hands. Within two weeks of that day he came to campus with Brown, he was in.
"I just thought, maybe I should just stay home. It wasn't about playing in the big arenas anymore or playing in a big conference against better schools. It was about having fun and winning," Robinson said.
Taking the opportunity in coming to CSUF worked out for the better, Robinson said. Since coming to the school in 2005, Robinson has established himself as a force on the team.
Assistant Coach Levy said this could be Robinson's break out year. After scoring 30 points at Montana, Robinson is living up to those expectations.
"I've got nothing but good things to say about him," Levy said. "He's a very good person and a very good athlete."
Senior Forward Marcus Morgan called Robinson a team oriented leader and an all around good guy, on and off the court.
"He leads by example, not just vocally," Morgan said.
Robinson said the whole experience of coming to CSUF was humbling.
"I used to be a little cocky kid," Robinson said. "That didn't get me anywhere. I'm glad I changed my personality."
Coming from Conference USA, Robinson initially saw his move to the Big West as an advantage, which he later found out was not the truth.
"The change is dramatic, but it's not something where you could just overlook it and think you're better and bigger than the team," Robinson said. "If you think like that, the team will lose."
Now in his fourth and final year at CSUF, Robinson has finally found a home.
"This is actually the first time in my life that I've stayed at a school this long," Robinson said. "I've never really stayed at any school for four years. Just moving around has always been something that's gone on with me growing up. Being here for four years and settling down and having somewhere where I could put my feet down and really grow was important."
Robinson said he'd like to play for as long as he can. But afterwards, Robinson, a public relations major, said he would either like to open up a public relations firm or go into sports management.
"It's fun for me," Robinson said. As for applying theory to the team, Robinson utilizes Facebook.com to get fans to come out to the games. He also reads the online message boards.
"I like to see what the fans think," Robinson said.
He noted that the most interesting thing for him was that the older fans were welcoming of the younger fans, inviting them to come to Section K, a section for the loudest and most prideful Titan fans at basketball games.
Seeing those kinds of things gets the team gets more hyped Robinson said.
"We want to do more for the people. I want to at least get one game where we sell out,"
With graduation approaching and the rest of the season to complete, Robinson has become content with his college experience.
"I owe Fullerton," Robinson said. "I'm happy. [I] Couldn't be happier to tell you the truth."