A Knicks player invites his former coach to be his roommate to help set his mind straight and recover.
Coaches and players share a special bond. It's a long and enduring one that stands the test of time. New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson shared such a unique connection with his high school basketball coach, Butch Stockton, that he was there for him during a difficult time in his life. Robinson, who is presently 25 years old, extended an invitation to his former coach to live with him in New York after Stockton's wife of 31 years, Dawn Stockton, passed away at 70 due to cancer back in September. Stockton, who was deeply touched by the gesture, spoke about it during the MSG Network broadcast when the Knicks won over the Detroit Pistons, per TODAY.
Mitchell Robinson invited his high school coach, Butch Stockton, to move in with him after his wife died this year 💙— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 1, 2023
Robinson visited Stockton's wife every day in the hospital when she was sick. What a story 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ng2mdexvvd
He spoke about their bond, saying, "When my wife was in the hospital, Mitchell came each day to visit her and became very close to myself and my wife. After the funeral, Mitchell told everyone that he was going to bring me to New York with him." Mitchell reasoned that the coach had no business staying in Louisiana and that he should return to New York to reorient himself. Stockton could be seen cheering him after Robinson made two successful free throw attempts. Robinson was quite close to the coach's wife and even shared an Instagram post mourning her death.
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He is seen hugging her in the first photo and standing next to her in the hospital bed in the second one. He captioned it, "Momma, I'm so sorry this has happened to you. I wish there was something I could have done to keep you here. You have been too good to me and coach Stockton. You'll never be forgotten. Please keep me safe and watch over me like you've been doing. I love you." Robinson revealed that Stockton had been living with him since September and had plans to stay going into 2024. He spoke about the coach's impact on him, "He's a great guy who helped me get to where I'm at. So you know, I'm bringing him along with me after everything that happened over the summer. It works out for the best. I can help him out. He helped me."
Mitchell Robinson shares more on his high school coach, Butch Stockton, who was invited to live with him after his wife passed away this past summer: pic.twitter.com/S2aQecYX9D— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) December 1, 2023
Robinson, who stands at 7 feet in height, rose to prominence as a McDonald's All-American when he was in high school with Stockton as his coach. He initially signed up to play with Western Kentucky but never ended up playing with them. Robinson made a massive jump straight into the NBA after he was selected as the 36th pick of the 108 draft by the New York Knicks. He made such an impact that his All-American jersey can still be seen framed and hanging in the gym at Chalmette, reports The Athletic.
Lakesha Robinson spoke about her son's dedication, saying, "If he could sleep here at Chalmette Gym, this is where you'll find him." He was so tuned into his game that his mother knew that he would be at the gym most of the time. Robinson's heartwarming gesture to his coach during such a difficult time showcases the depth and strength of their bond. The fact that the duo continued to remain in touch even after Robinson went onto the NBA is truly amazing as well.