University of Missouri

Former Missouri star Kassius Robertson trying to break out in the NBA Summer League

Kassius Robertson only played his final collegiate season at Missouri (2017-18), but the former Tiger treats it as if he spent all four years in Columbia.

Robertsdon, who is playing for the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA Summer League this summer, told The Star he stayed up until 3 a.m. while playing in Germany last season to catch every MU game.

Despite the lack of sleep, Robertson had no regrets.

“I’ll do that every year,” he said. “Mizzou is another home for me.”

After spending his first college years at Canisius, Robertson transferred to Missouri for his final season to be a veteran complement to freshman Michael Porter Jr., on a young, inexperienced team. But after Porter went out for the season due to back surgery, Robertson emerged as the team’s star player. He averaged 16.6 points per game while shooting 43 percent on three-pointers. He was named first team all-Southeastern Conference at the end of the year.

Minutes have been hard to come by for Robertson with the Hornets this summer, as he’s sat behind former Kansas guard Devonté Graham and Nevada stars Caleb and Cody Martin. Robertson’s thick black beard has caused him to get mistaken for the Martin twins while with the team, and even Robertson’s mother mistook him for the twins on TV.

Robertson didn’t play in the Hornets’ 75-72 loss to the Bulls on Wednesday but is still grateful for the experience after not getting a summer league invite last year.

“For me, it’s just coming here and soaking it all up,” Robertson said. “I didn’t play today, but I thought I had a pretty good showing the first game and got a couple minutes last game. Hopefully I can get on the court next game. Hopefully I can get my name in the system.”

The Hornets were Robertson’s lone summer league invite after he spent his first professional season playing for Medi Bayreuth in Germany’s Basketball Bundesliga. Even though his team missed the playoffs, Robertson said he thought his first professional season went well and served as a big learning experience both personally and professionally.

“It was just tough adjusting to the play, being so far from home,” he said. “Overall it was a good experience, got to travel to a lot of places, had a lot of fun.”

While he could return to Europe next season, Robertson remains uncommitted to returning overseas or finding a team in the NBA’s G-League.

Robertson still regularly communicates with Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin and is optimistic about the Tigers’ returning team, which will feature a loaded sophomore class, center Jeremiah Tilmon and Evansville transfer Dru Smith.

“They’re going to be really good,” he said. “This past season they were super young, but they got better over the course of the year. I think they’re going to go into next season with a lot of confidence.”

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.
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