MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On this Thanksgiving, Eric "Cowboy" Robinson is grateful for the time he had with legendary Hamilton boys basketball coach, Ted Anderson.
"He really was my second dad," Robinson said. "Coach A was there to help me, groom me in what I love to do, and the reason why I started loving the game was because of him."
Anderson passed away at the age of 77 in September. He retired in 2016 with 581 wins in his 38 years of coaching, all but 10 of them coming at Hamilton.
Robinson was a player when Anderson's Wildcats won the AAA state championship in 1991, now he enters his first season as head coach at his alma mater.
"I think coach was more excited than I was," he said. "Me and him talked almost like every day about the team, about Hamilton basketball. So I just miss him a lot."
Robinson got the job just before the COVID-19 pandemic began. With no games, he spent much of his first year doing what little conditioning was allowed with his team. He also reminded them of the standard Anderson set for Wildcat basketball.
"We knew that he was truly about Hamilton, he loved Hamilton," Sophomore Devan McGee said. "He wanted us to keep the legacy going."
Hamilton began their season this week as a host school for the 50th Anniversary of the MLK Tournament. After almost two years, Robinson finally made his Hamilton coaching debut on Coach A's Court.
"Not being able to see him on the side and talk to him after the games and getting his input on what's going on, it's hard," Robinson admitted. "But I know he's watching."
And knowing that, for having the opportunity to carry on Coach A's legacy, Robinson is thankful.