Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu: Gulf Coast State's Not So Silent Killer
Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu had earned a reputation as a silent killer.
She will beat you in a variety of different ways on the court without saying a word.
“I like to let my play do the talking and show you what I can do. I don’t like to talk a lot,” Morgan says.
That, at least, was the way Morgan played while at D-I Auburn. However, after two seasons there, she decided to take one of the biggest risks of her career.
Morgan has had a basketball in her hand virtually her entire life. Growing up in Atlanta, her dad, Chuck, played basketball at Jackson State and raised his daughter to play basketball the right way. Morgan practiced with her dad all the time, and enjoyed his unfailing support. She knows that her dad has her back through it all and has helped get her to where she is today.
But he cannot take all the credit. Morgan’s mom, Dr. Nechelle Robinson, has always pushed her to be the best she can be every single day. Morgan always knew she could go to her mom for anything, especially when it came to something school-related.
Morgan values her family greatly and without her parents and two sisters, Avery and Carrington who always back her up throughout her journey in life, it would have been a lot harder for Morgan to get to where she is today.
“The relationship that I have with my older sister Avery has always been a close one,” Morgan says, “My younger sister is only six-years-old, but she still comes to some of my games and supports me as well.”
The Pressure is on
Morgan chose Auburn because she liked the coaches' mindset and was impressed with the academic facilities and the campus. Her parents did a fantastic job reaching out to the coaching staff and found a great landing spot for her at the time. But when the Tigers changed coaches, Morgan decided to make one of the biggest decisions of her life - transfer to the JUCO ranks and play for Gulf Coast State College.
“It was a big risk for me to take and that was what I was thinking about when I was making my decision,” Morgan says, “The people around me were telling me that the only way I would be able to get back to where I want to be is if I play good and I had that weighing on me throughout the entire season.”
Morgan put all the trust in herself with the decision to leave D-I.
“I knew what I had to do on the court, and I did not want to disappoint myself to have this year be a waste,” Morgan said at the start of her year at Gulf Coast State under head coach Rory Kuhn. She did not disappoint.
Morgan made her presence felt this season, averaging more than 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. She finished fifth in the nation in scoring, clearly one of the best offensive players in the league.
Although Morgan had an incredible season, it was not easy.
Change in play
“The beginning of the season I felt like I needed to score a lot and show people what I can do and towards the middle of the season I realized I needed to win at all costs,” Morgan explained.
The days of being a silent killer would have to end. Morgan played for a new team which was made up of mostly players coming out of high school. She needed to step up and be the leader of the team, which she had not done much since high school.
“My coaching staff had a lot of trust in me and told me that I need to speak up more to help be a leader on the team,” Morgan said.
Gulf Coast's assistant coach, Chris Godfrey, was amongst those who had that belief in her to step into the leadership role. As you would expect, this change did not happen overnight.
“It was her taking more responsibility throughout the course of the season,” coach Godfrey explained. “Mostly just making her teammates feel more comfortable and made them understand that she trusted them as well which helps getting even more production out of all of the other players on the court.”
He noticed the switch from Morgan realizing the pressure was on and that the level of engagement with the team enhanced tremendously.
“When you have one of the best players in the country have the confidence to say that we can beat these top teams in the nation, that gives a lot of confidence especially to the young players on the team."
The pressure that Morgan had to not only play up to her standards but be the glue that elevates everyone else on the team too would be another hurdle for her to face. Morgan explained how building the chemistry with the new team that has not played together before keyed success for the team.
“I love this team and I have made so many new friends since I have been here,” Morgan continues, “The team lives in two houses and went out to the beach a lot at first and now we go mini golfing, go karting, and shop at the outlet mall.”
Morgan has had a blast with her team and everyone she has met at Gulf Coast. A memorable story with her team happened during spring break.
“All of the sports teams got together, and we had a war with water guns, water balloons, and pots of water so we were just running around the area and that was a lot of fun,” Morgan explained.
Morgan worked hard all season and handled the pressure that was put on her from people around her as well as herself and it would pay off.
Morgan received many offers from D-I schools including: California State-Bakersfield, Georgia Southern, and the University of Central Florida.
Although Morgan is majoring in exercise science to become a physical trainer, her dream is to play professional basketball first. She looks up to her favorite basketball player LeBron James, the player she molded her game after.
In the meantime, Morgan will continue to spend her off days drawing, painting, and playing video games with her friends. But most of all, she loves to make TIK TOK videos on her phone.
“I am trying to become TIK TOK famous,” she says.
Nobody is betting against her right now. They know she's going to kill it - in a not so silent way.
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