Getting to know “Rebounding Rob”

The Journal sits down with women's basketball star Robyn Pearson

Robyn Pearson currently sits first in the OUA in rebounds per game.
Robyn Pearson (right) currently sits first in the OUA in rebounds per game.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

While she’s been a staple on Queen’s basketball court for the past few seasons, people didn’t always believe Robyn Pearson would make it to the university level.

“I never really had high aspirations,” she said. “Everyone told me ‘yeah, you probably aren’t good enough to play in the OUA.’”

Pearson’s basketball journey started a little later in the game. She didn’t choose to focus on the sport until high school, as she loved all of the sports she was playing too much to give any up.

“Knowing that I wasn’t highly sought after makes me want to prove that I should be,” she said. “[It’s] been pretty cool to see how this journey has unfolded from a scared rookie to a pretty confident veteran.

“I’m happy that I chose the path that I did, I don’t think I would have been happy settling too early or focusing too early.”

Today, Pearson’s high school moniker of “Rebounding Rob” has stuck, as she’s known for her rebounding skills on the court, and is ranked first in the OUA with 11.4 rebounds a game.

“When [head coach Dave Wilson] talks about me, he’s always kind of like, ‘Yup, I picked her up because she rebounds well,’” she said. 

And while she may not have initially been planning on being a varsity athlete, Pearson didn't shy away from setting her sights high for the remainder of the season.

“Ideally, our goal is to get to nationals,” she said. “We went two years ago … We were a pretty phenomenal group going there and we still have a pretty strong group this year.”

Queen’s currently sits tied for the OUA lead with a 6-1 record.

“I think we’ll make it, but it’s one thing to say it and one thing to do it — that’s what our coach always says.”

But arguably as important as her skill as a rebounder is her ability to lead. Pearson cites her years of experience on the team as the reason.

“Something I’ve definitely learned being a veteran player is that understanding the game better, and being able to share your knowledge, is the probably the easiest way to be a leader on a sports team,” she said. She also says the close-knit athletics community makes everyone cares about their teammates.

“We always joke that one of our team goals is “honour thy squad”, so we just talk about regardless of what happens on or off the floor, we always have each other’s backs … It’s definitely a community and family that if I didn’t have, I’d probably miss it.”

Pearson is also a leader off the court: she is one of the co-coordinators of Get Real Queen’s.

“We’re a group of students who talk to high-schoolers about unlearning homophobic and transphobic language, so we do awareness campaigns, we go into schools and do presentations for them,” she said. “Our main mantra to build awareness.”

Pearson and the Gaels get back into action this weekend with a two-game road trip in Toronto against the University of Toronto and Ryerson.

“I think we have that potential [to finish on top],” she said. “We just need to tap into it.”

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