Craig Robinson, brother-in-law to President Barack Obama, has joined ESPN as a college basketball analyst, the network said Tuesday. The 52-year-old Robinson, who is the older brother of first lady Michelle Obama, was fired by Oregon State University in May after six seasons as chief basketball coach.
“I am extremely honored and excited to join ESPN and its college basketball team,” Robinson said in a press release. “The chance to remain close to the sport I love, expand my horizons and be a part of ESPN and the Walt Disney Company is a tremendous opportunity.”
Robinson will make his ESPN debut during the network’s annual “College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon” in November. He will announce games as a color commentator and serve as an in-studio analyst.
A star forward at Princeton University, Robinson was selected in the fourth round of the 1983 NBA draft, but never played in the league. After two years of professional basketball abroad, Robinson turned to coaching. He has also coached at Northwestern University, the Illinois Institute of Technology and Brown University.
In 2007, Robinson was named Basketball U’s Ivy League Coach of the Year. He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business, Deadline notes.
In a 2009 interview with Esquire, Robinson told the story of how his sister Michelle asked him to “vet” the future president when they first started dating. He challenged Obama – then a law student – to a game of pickup basketball. Obama passed the test.
“When I played basketball with Barack, he was quietly confident, which means he had good self-esteem without being cocky,” Robinson said. “He was certainly a team player — he wasn't a pig, he passed when he was supposed to pass, and he cut when he was supposed to cut. To me, that speaks to a lack of selfishness. He had natural leadership ability, because he didn't just pass me the ball because he was dating my sister. Whenever a player gets tired, he reverts back to the player he truly is. That's how you tell. And we played for hours. That's how I could tell."