When you think of famous families of athletes, several immediately pop into your mind. The Mannings and the Matthews of football fame; Serena and Venus Williams on the tennis court and the Alomars, Hulls and Barrys are just a few of the families that immediately pop into your head.
The Oklahoma City Thunder drafted Andre Roberson out of Colorado in the first round of last week's NBA Draft, someone who comes from as impressive a family of athletes as you can find in today's world.
Roberson is the son of John and Lisa Roberson. John played basketball at New Mexico State and then played professionally overseas for 12 years. Lisa was no slouch herself, playing volleyball for four years for the Aggies.
Then came the kids—seven of them in all—each as competitive and athletic as the one before. Andre is child No. 3, the older of two boys. Lisa says because of her and her husband's experiences as athletes, there was no way they could contain the love for sports the kids exhibited.
"We kept them going," Lisa said at the Thunder's press conference introducing her son and two other draft picks last Saturday. "I couldn't curtail it and so we just continued on. Upward Basketball was one of the programs that we went to. We didn't think about it, we just did it."
Three of Roberson's five sisters have already made a name for themselves in college athletics. The oldest, Ashlee, played basketball at Texas Tech for three seasons before playing overseas. Amber played four years of volleyball at Texas, including a standout junior season in which she helped the Longhorns reach the Final Four.
Andre's younger sister Arielle is coming off her freshman year playing basketball at Colorado. Besides teaming with Andre to form one of only five brother-sister combinations at the same school in all of college basketball, Arielle won Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors by averaging 12.1 points per game, second on the team.
With all that athletic ability in one family, the competitiveness naturally runs rampant. However, Lisa wasn't able to say where exactly Andre fell in the hierarchy of most competitive in the family.
"All of them are very competitive," Lisa admitted. "It's in our blood because my husband and I are very competitive. As he's (Andre) gotten older, he's (become) very, very competitive. He's got a humbling, meek spirit, but he's very competitive. Don't let that fool you."
Growing up, Andre always wanted to be an NBA player, a desire Lisa says started when Andre was in second grade.
"He had a collage and his main this was playing in the NBA," Lisa recalled. "As a parent, you're like, "Yeah!" What can I say? He fulfilled it. He did it; he put his mind to it, believed and never looked back."
Lisa has always encouraged her children to think and dream big, and then go chase those dreams with an energetic spirit. Even though very few children who aspire to play any professional sport actually do, Lisa never discouraged Andre from pursuing that dream.
"Being an athlete, I understand that," Lisa said. "You want to maximize your ability and go to the top. I would never discourage that in any of my kids, never, for whatever situation they want to pursue. As long as it's right and they're not harming themselves, I'm 100 percent behind them."
The Robersons reside in San Antonio, Texas, so Andre grew up a fan of the San Antonio Spurs. He went to many activities sponsored by the organization and idolized the biggest players in the city.
"Tim Duncan, David Robinson, those were his mentors growing up," Lisa recalled. "He always looked up to them and now he's kind of followed suit. His demeanor, his meekness, he's not a big flamboyant personality. He really liked the Spurs. As he grows and matures, I'm sure he's really happy here with OKC."
Andre's new teammates may be giving him some playful ribbing thanks to Roberson's former fandom, but with one glance at his family's history, they should have nothing but respect for his ability to play the game.