An old-school set of basketball skills is serving Franklin sophomore Hailee Robbins well this season.
In an era in which 3-point shots and point-blank layups are popular at the offensive end, Robbins, a 5-foot-10 wing, features a nice mid-range jumper and an ability to add to her point total at the free throw line.
Put it all together and Robbins leads the Grizzly Cubs with a 14.5 scoring average. She also produces 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game for a squad that next plays at Greenwood on Friday night.
Being among the statistical leaders on such a young team (starting swingman Maya Elliott is the lone senior) presents other responsibilities for Robbins, as well.
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“Last year I was that freshman who was scared to death to speak up. This season I’m more confident,” Robbins said. “I just feel good about speaking up and being able to help others on my team.
“My big thing is the whole team working together and getting better. I really believe in us and think we’re going to do well.”
Robbins’ ability to draw contact has sent her to the charity stripe 51 times, where she’s made 37 (72.5 percent).
Her best scoring performances of the season came against Mt. Vernon (23 points) and Southport (20). In the latter, Robbins accounted for 12 of her team’s final 15 points in a 54-47 home victory.
It’s an impressive jump in responsibility and productivity for a player who produced 5.3 points and 3.7 boards per contest as a freshman, but not entirely surprising.
Robbins spent plenty of her offseason hours in the gym working on basketball skills. The same is true for the weight room, where she worked to get stronger for the rigors of at least 23 varsity games this season.
“As a freshman player you’re trying to feel your way. You go from playing against girls your own age to those who are usually two and three years older. It’s bigger, faster, stronger,” Franklin coach Josh Sabol said.
“The biggest thing this year is that Hailee is contributing consistently at a high level. She’s a 5-10 guard who can post it, drive it and shoot the 3. Hailee has a really good feel for the game and she always has a plan of attack depending on how teams are guarding her.”
She figures to continue drawing more and more attention.
THE ROBBINS FILE
Name: Hailee Robbins
Family: Parents Chad and Sheri Smith
Favorite TV show: “One Tree Hill”
Favorite food: Italian
Favorite athlete: Tamika Catchings
Favorite team: Golden State Warriors