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Nicholas Robbin-Coker: A hidden basketball gem

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Nicholas Robbin-Coker: A hidden basketball gem

David Miller

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Before any boys varsity basketball game, you can hear junior Nick Robbin-Coker yelling happily during warmups, giving the starters their respective handshakes, and leading the team in the cheer “Mason on three, family on six.”

Instead of the traditional “Mason on three, one, two, three, Mason” cheer, Robbin-Coker made the executive decision to add “family on six, four, five, six, family.” In addition, the team decided to put “family” on the back of their shooting shirts in place of last names.

“He has taken it upon himself to break us from the huddles with the cheer he came up with, the one two three, four five six thing, I had never heard that before,” said Head Coach Chris Capannola. “I don’t even say anything in the huddles, everyone looks to him.”

“It’s to show other teams that we’re a family, not just teammates on a basketball team,” Robbin-Coker said.

With only 10 players on the basketball team, as opposed to the usual 15, the Mason varsity boys basketball team is a very tight-knit group.

“Together we’re just like a family,” said Robbin-Coker. “[The team] has played together their whole lives, whether it be JV, travel, or whatever, and then when I came [to Mason], they took me in like a family.”

Robbin-Coker prepares to give junior guard Tim Andrianarison his pre-game handshake, something Robbin-Coker does before every game. He has one or more handshake prepared with each starter.

“His best trait as a hype man is energy. He’s got lots of energy,” said junior guard Biruk Teshome. “If we’re a family, he’s the annoying kid that never shuts up. But we love him anyway.”

Someone in the stands may not notice Robbin-Coker’s athletic contribution, but everyone on the team agrees his role is an important one.

“He has kept his attitude perfect throughout the season despite not getting the minutes in games,” said Capannola. “You don’t have to be a scorer to be a leader. He’s shown that. Everybody likes him, everybody respects him, he works his butt off, he loves basketball, he knows the plays, he watches film, and that’s the type of kid you want in the program.”

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Nicholas Robbin-Coker: A hidden basketball gem