Determined is the best word to describe Glenelg's Brandon Robertson.
Nothing less than determination could have carried the 5-foot-8, 140-pound point guard to a three-year varsity starting position. Certainly not his size.
"I never give up, and I make things happen," Robertson said. "I love my size and never thought it was a liability. I use what I have to the best of my ability."
What the senior has is good court awareness, the patience to take high-percentage shots, the leadership to be a good floor general, and the savvy to play excellent defense.
Robertson is one of the players Glenelg is counting on to wipe out memories of last season's 5-18 record. The Gladiators were 3-15 in league play.
They already have won three games, their first three, including two in league play, so the turnaround is underway.
"If we play within ourselves, we'll be decent and can contend," Robertson said.
His goal this season is "to help the team as much as I can." Another goal is to improve his assist-to-turnover ratio, which was only two-to-one last season.
Robertson is third on Glenelg's all-time steals list with 73. And he is 12 three-pointers away from the school record of 54. Last season, he averaged 11 points and 3.7 assists.
"You need to be able to trust in your point guard, and I do," Glenelg coach Jeremy Snyder said. "He has been a mainstay for Glenelg basketball."
A highlight in Robertson's career occurred last season, when he scored 19 points, including 11 of 12 free throws, in a victory over Centennial. Robertson jumped over his team's bench to save a ball and then came back inbounds to make a three-point shot that won the game.
In Glenelg's first game this season, against Liberty, Robertson had nine assists and eight steals, as well as four rebounds and four points.
That's the kind of all-round effort Snyder has come to expect.
"I won't be trying to score as much this season, because we have enough scorers," said Robertson, a two-year captain.
Eric Breland is expected to be Glenelg's chief inside scoring threat, and Jeff Starcher the top outside shooter.
Robertson has some competition at point guard from an unusual source -- his brother Brett, a sophomore.
"According to him, he's better than me, and we push each other pretty hard in practice," Brandon said.
"We think exactly the same. I've never played on the same team with him before and was sort of surprised, but glad, when he made varsity."
Robertson grew up in Utah and was fortunate to have a high school basketball coach in his neighborhood who gave clinics all summer.
"His name was Dave Cowan, and he played for Utah and has produced a lot of good players," Robertson said. "I called and thanked him when I made varsity."
Robertson wants to play college basketball and is interested in Lebanon Valley or Elizabethtown, both in Pennsylvania.
He has a 3.9 grade-point average and takes his Mormon religion as seriously as his schoolwork or his basketball, getting up at 5: 30 a.m. each day to attend a 6: 15 Bible study group.
His personality is outspoken.
"I was taught to be a shepherd and not a sheep," he said.
Snyder said that when the players attended a team-building camp this summer, "He was the leader. He wasn't afraid to speak his mind, and he communicates well with the other kids."
The team also attended a basketball camp in Delaware together, further proof that the Gladiators think they have what it will take to be competitive this season.
"Everyone is taking this season more seriously," Robertson said.
Pub Date: 12/20/98