Clifford Robinson was a durable and reliable big man for the Portland Trail Blazers, becoming an All-Star there in the process. Lovingly known as Uncle Cliffy, the former player has died according to reports.
One of the earliest reports of Robinson’s passing came from the UCONN Twitter account, which tweeted, “The UConn Basketball family mourns the loss of a legendary player and person, Clifford Robinson. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cliff’s family at this difficult time.”
Robinson was born on December 16, 1966 in Buffalo, N.Y. After attending high school at Riverside Insitute of Technology, Robinson joined the University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball team in 1985. As a four-year member of the Huskies, Robinson helped the team win its NIT Tournament championship in 1988 then entered into the 1989 NBA Draft.
Selected in the second round at 36 by the Portland Trailblazers, the durable big man spent eight seasons with the squad, which made the playoffs every year of his tenure there.
Robinson won the 1992-1993 Sixth Man of the Year Award, and was named to the All-Star Team in 1994, while gaining his highest scoring average of 21.5 points in the 94-95 season. Robinson then signed with the Phoenix Suns in 1997, spending four seasons there before spending a handful of seasons each with the Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, and New Jersey Nets before retiring.
Robinson also dabbled in television as a cast member of the reality series, Survivor, appearing on the show in 2013. Beyond reality shows, Robinson was also a cannabis business owner and his Uncle Cliffy brand was in full swing. He reportedly suffered a stroke in 2017 and had a tumor removed from his jaw the following year. It has not been reported how Robinson passed.
He was 53.