A Game of Character: A Family Journey from Chicago's Southside to the Ivy League and Beyond

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"When he stepped into history's spotlight at the National Democratic Convention, Craig Robinson recalls that nothing could have been more gratifying than introducing his sister, Michelle Obama, to millions of Americans. Within minutes, he won the hearts of the nation by sharing highlights of growing up in the modest Robinson household, where he and his sister were raised by devoted parents who taught them the values of education, and hard work, and the importance of reaching far beyond what even seemed possible." "Those lessons of character were

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A Game of Character: A Family Journey from Chicago's Southside to the Ivy League and Beyond

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Overview

"When he stepped into history's spotlight at the National Democratic Convention, Craig Robinson recalls that nothing could have been more gratifying than introducing his sister, Michelle Obama, to millions of Americans. Within minutes, he won the hearts of the nation by sharing highlights of growing up in the modest Robinson household, where he and his sister were raised by devoted parents who taught them the values of education, and hard work, and the importance of reaching far beyond what even seemed possible." "Those lessons of character were fundamental in shaping Craig Robinson's own remarkable journey: from his days playing street basketball on Chicago's Southside while excelling academically, to admission at Princeton University, where he was later named Ivy League Player of the Year, twice. After playing professionally in Europe, Robinson made an about-face, entering the competitive field of finance. With his MBA from the University of Chicago, his meteoric rise landed him a partnership in a promising new venture. But another dream beckoned, and Craig made the unusual decision to forgo the trappings of money and status in the business world in order to become a basketball coach. He soon helped transform three struggling teams - as an assistant coach at Northwestern, then as head coach at Brown, and now at Oregon State University. In his first season at OSU, he navigated what was declared to be one of the nation's best single season turnarounds." In A Game of Character, Robinson takes readers behind the scenes to meet his most important influences in his understanding of the winning traits that are part of his playbook for success. Central to his story are his parents, Marian and Fraser, two indefatigable individuals who showed their children how to believe in themselves and live their lives with conviction through love, discipline, and respect. With insights into this exemplary family, we relive memories of how Marian sacrificed a career to be a full-time mom, how Fraser got up and went to work every day while confronting the challenges of multiple sclerosis, and how Craig and Michelle strengthened their bond as they journeyed out of the Southside to Princeton University and, eventually, the national stage.

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Editorial Reviews

T. Rees Shapiro
Robinson's journey to Princeton University, a position with Morgan Stanley and, after a drastic career change, the coaching job at OSU—all this makes for an uplifting read.
—The Washington Post
The New York Times
He helped elect a president.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592405480
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/20/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig Robinson grew up on the Southside of Chicago with his younger sister, Michelle, and his parents, Marian and Fraser Robinson. He played college basketball for Princeton under the legendary Pete Carril, where he was a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year. After playing professionally in Europe, Craig made an about-face, entering the competitive field of finance. With his MBA from the University of Chicago, his meteoric rise landed him a partnership in a promising new venture. But another dream beckoned, and Craig left the financial world to become a basketball coach.

Prior to joining Oregon State, Craig spent two years as the head coach at Brown, leading a revival of the Bears’ program. He won more games in his first two years than any other head coach in Brown’s basketball history and was named Ivy League Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year by Basketball-U.com. Before Brown, Craig spent six seasons with the Northwestern Wildcats under head coach Bill Carmody, where he developed and implemented his local, national, and international recruiting technology. Craig Robinson currently lives in Oregon with his wife, Kelly, and his children.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Marian Robinson Robinson, Marian

Pregame: Tests of Character

Pt. I Fundamentals 1

1 Meet the Home Team 3

2 Robinson Family Values: Love, Discipline, Respect 22

3 Know Who You Are and Live Your Life with Conviction 43

4 Be Relentless: You Have to Win to Stay on the Court 64

5 Don't Be Afraid to Be Smart and Cool 75

6 The Correct Choice May Not Be the Right Choice 89

Pt. II On the Road 99

7 From the Southside of Chicago to Princeton 101

8 Learn the Game, Not Just Your Position 117

9 Luck Is Just Another Word for Hard Work 128

10 Character Is Shaped by Choices Made Every Step of the Way 140

11 Expect the Best but Prepare for the Unexpected 151

Pt. III A New Season 165

12 Building a Strong Family Is like Building a Strong Team 167

13 A Strategy for Change Starts with the Belief That You Can Win 181

14 Playing a New Position 193

15 Be Relentless: You Have to Win to Stay on the Court (Reprise) 205

Pt. IV Full-Court Press 217

16 What Would Fraser Robinson Say? 219

17 Harnessing Energy, Seizing Momentum 227

18 The Character of a Nation 237

Postgame: We All Have a Window of Opportunity 251

Acknowledgments 255

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 17, 2010

    Like a Livingroom Chat

    This self-help book is as much an autobiography of Craig Robinson as it is a help to making meaningful changes in one's life or in helping others. This is because he uses wonderful examples from his life to illustrate the character building points he wants to share. It makes for an easy and convincing read - like you've been invited into his livingroom for a chat! Some stories involve his sister, our First Lady, and, therefore, add another dimension of interest. His direct approach leaves no doubt as to what he wants to convey and the examples often made me smile ... and that in turn will help me remember! I could see myself giving this book as a gift. Parents, teachers, coaches, and social study buffs would all enjoy this volume of stories with a moral.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2010

    Required Reading

    This book should be required reading. It shows how hard work, ethics and commitment is a must for rearing children. At 51yrs old, I feel good about not having children because I know what Mr. and Mrs. Robinson did as a couple, I could not do alone. As President Obama said in one of his speeches; "Any fool could make a baby, it takes a real man and woman to raise a child." Character is what defines you. A strong foundation is what will build that character. A Game of Character shows you how Craig and Michelle emulated what was taught by their parents.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2010

    excellent read!

    highy recommend to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2010

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