Noah Robotham endured several ups and downs as he was being recruited and admitted the process was “overwhelming.”
Through it all, one school never backed off the senior point guard for Bishop Gorman’s boys basketball team.
“Akron made me a priority from day one,” Robotham said. “They were always there and never pressured me. You have to go where it’s the right fit and go where you’re wanted.”
Robotham, the Review-Journal and Gatorade state player of the year, made a nonbinding oral commitment to the Zips on Friday and said he will probably sign a letter of intent next week. Akron’s coaches cannot comment until that time.
The 6-foot Robotham averaged a team-high 16.0 points, 7.1 assists and 3.1 steals as the Gaels won their third straight large-school state title in March. He said he picked the Mid-American Conference school over interest from Boston College, Oregon State, San Jose State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Robotham also had scholarship offers from Idaho, Idaho State, Northern Arizona, Tennessee-Martin and UC Davis, according to multiple websites.
“Throughout the recruiting process, my parents and my brother and the other people that helped me preached about the people that are there with you,” Robotham said. “Akron is definitely the best place for me to grow as an athlete, as a player and as a person.”
Robotham had an in-home visit with Akron’s coaching staff in March and visited the school in Ohio the weekend of March 30.
“The best thing about Akron right now is the coach,” Robotham said of Keith Dambrot, who has a record of 231-107 in 10 seasons with the Zips. “When I went on my visit, they instantly took me in and I could tell the team was very family oriented.”
A two-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com, Robotham is Gorman’s all-time winningest player with 112 victories.
Akron has won more than 20 games in nine straight seasons under Dambrot, who coached LeBron James for two seasons in high school. The Zips went 21-13 this season and participated in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Akron finished 26-7 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2012-13.
“I built my career on winning, and they have 20-plus wins every year,” Robotham said. “That’s something I’m used to doing, and I don’t plan on changing.”