On Monday afternoon on social media, four-star guard and Missouri basketball signee C.J. Roberts reaffirmed his commitment to the Tigers and confirmed that he would not be asking for a release from his letter of commitment.
Usually four- and five-star recruits don’t commit to basketball programs that have averaged nine wins a year over the past three seasons. It’s just the way that the world works — good recruits want to play for good programs.
But CJ Roberts isn’t like most recruits. Roberts was built for this.
Later this week, we will post an audio interview with Roberts’ father, C.J. Sr. Here are a couple of excerpts.
Born To Hoop
Man, we knew it from the jump.
The dude was about 7, 8 months old, when I playing in the Dallas Pro-Am league. I used to always take him with me and put him in his little chair on the bench so he could watch us run up and down the floor. But it was cold that night so I didn't take him. I left him home with his mom.
When I left, she called me and said, “He's crying and he won't stop crying.” She said, “I changed him, I burped him, tried to feed him he just will not stop crying.”
So finally, she said, “I just don't know what to do,” so she just sat him back in his little chair and cry. Well, she picked up the remote and started flipping channels, and she noticed that when she put it on the basketball game, he would stop crying. When she changed it from the basketball game, he'd start crying.
So afterwards, she called me back and said, "You done jinxed my baby."
I said, "Whatchu mean?"
She said, "He only stops crying, when I put it on basketball. if I change it, he cries."
"Well.... I guess you're watching the game."
— Craig Roberts Sr.
Almost literally sleeping in the gym
We used to live across the street from a rec center. CJ was three years old. There was a guy that ran the rec center by the name of Baron Brown. He played at Texas Tech.
Baron called me and said, "Say man, we closed 20 minutes ago, when you coming to get CJ?"
I said, "CJ in the bed sleep, he not over there."
He said, "Nah dog, CJ been in the gym for the last 2 hours. Over there in the corner, playing on the little goal."
So I went and asked my wife, "Uh, where's the baby?"
She said, "He's in the room sleep."
I said, "Come on let's go."
We went in the room, he wasn’t there.
She started looking all over the house, couldn't find him
I said he's across the street at the rec center.
She said, "How'd he get to the rec center?”
I said, "I have no idea."
So we walk across the street, and we go in the gym to get him, and I said, “who brought you over here, and how did you get over here?”
He said, "I just came over here, i wanted to work on my shot."
"So you just got up, unlocked the door, let yourself out and walked across the street to the rec center?"
"Yeah daddy, I needed to work on my shot."
Why Mizzou? Why still Mizzou?
Make it make sense to us. Don't make decisions based upon what you feel. Because your feelings change like the wind and the rain. You gotta make decisions based on logic and facts. So just make it make sense.
He made this statement to me this morning when we were talking:
“Dad, Coach Martin says things gon be open and fair. Everybody is gon get what they earn and I'm good with that because Imma work and Imma earn it.
“With Mike being there and every NBA scout in the league coming through there to see him, since he's the No. 1 pro prospect in the country, they can't help but see me too.”
Now that is him making it make sense.
There's no way in the world that I could argue with that.
His biggest strength
He just lives for the challenge. Every time a new one comes, he just steps up and takes it.