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Pitt's James Robinson Almost Missed Team USA Experience

James Robinson helped Team USA's Under 18 squad win a gold medal a few weeks ago, but coach Billy Donovan gives some interesting insight that Robinson actually almost missed out on playing.

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Donovan had this to say about Robinson making the team:

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"We weren't sure we were going to keep him. We cut the team from 25 to 14 and then kept guys around to 12. He was originally on the outside looking in. But once we started practicing we saw that he's a winner and a great role guy. He's a typical Pitt player. Jamie [Dixon] will love coaching him. I'm not sure of his impact on the team, but people will say, 'Where did this guy come from?' The kid is a winner. I liked coaching him. He was the same guy every day.''

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Robinson didn't put up incredible numbers in the games, but he did have several key baskets in the first half of the final game. Team USA may have won the gold medal without Robinson, but for him, the experience was pretty invaluable. By playing against top players his age around the world, he really got a good head start for his freshman season this fall.

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For more on Pitt basketball, check out SB Nation's Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.