An update on what’s next.... pic.twitter.com/TeAB103qGs— Robbie Hummel (@RobbieHummel) October 4, 2017
Robbie has announced his retirement officially. As you can see above, he will be working with ESPN and BTN in some type of role. He is extremely fortunate to be able to continue his work with the game that he loves, but the playing portion is now over.
Many will remember the ACL tears that started to plague his basketball career. But, if you remember correctly, it all really started his sophomore year with back issues. Robbie fought through that back injury by wearing a protective brace. Sure, he ran like an old man, but he was a Indiana Blue Collared basketball player and fought himself thru it.
It continued at The Barn, Minnesota’s basketball arena. We were ranked number 3 at the time, with the team gelling so well we looked like a lock to be a final four team. Purdue looked unstoppable, the next game if we were to beat Michigan State, it was likely we would have moved up to number 1 in the polls. But, instead, Robbie tore his ACL at the Barn. Only winning that game with a shot by Keaton Grant.
The next game against Michigan State, we only scored 44 points and lost 53-44 as we were trying to figure out how to play without Robbie still. We went on to the Sweet 16 that season, eventually getting beat by Duke, 70 to 57.
It was okay, everything was fine. We returned our core of JaJuan Johnson, Robbie Hummel & E’Twaun Moore for the their senior years. But just as their senior year practice started, Robbie’s ended with another ACL tear.
It was a punch to the stomach for a team that had as much talent as anyone in the nation, but things happen and we moved on. We were still a top 25 team that season, but lost to a more athletic VCU team in the 2nd round.
Robbie was great his senior year, leading a talent deficient roster to a 22-13 record, with only losing to Kansas by three in the 2nd round, a game that we quite honestly should have won.
Round 2 pick 58 by the Minnesota Timberwolves, we heard his name be called. I couldn’t have been happier for him, a guy that deserved it. His hard work, dedication and fortitude got him to this point.
He did not play there immediately, he played in Spain for a year, then from 2013 to 2015 he played for the Timberwolves as a deep reserve, getting playing time when injuries popped up. He then played in Italy, but in January of 2016 he suffered a serious shoulder injury that kept him out. From there, he came on and became an intern for Coach Painter for the late portion of the season. A role in which I hoped would develop into a coaching role for us later on.
Last year, he signed with the Nuggets for the preseason roster, but was cut before the season started. He played in Russia for 2016-2017 season. He has now retired for good.
This is a guy that gave his life and body to the game he loved. I have no doubts in my mind that he will be successful in the role he will play for ESPN & BTN. If he ever wants to coach, he could do that as well.
Robbie, thanks for being a great Boilermaker and an exact example of what being a Boilermaker is truly about.