"We didn't push him toward the Academy, but we did guide him," says Ambrose, a cool head with a hearty laugh who still rises before dawn and works as an engineer in Washington. "The biggest advantage is its academic structure and togetherness. It's his decision, but I hope he stays. He's so at home there he forgets to call home here."
Basketball is important to Robinson, but at the moment it isn't his first priority. A math major, he is taking 18 hours of thermodynamics, physics, navigation, computer science and advanced calculus. Last semester he had a 3.22 grade-point average. "Homework?" He laughs. "It varies from too much to way too much. At first, everything seemed unfair: no radio, no TV in the hall, no McDonald's on Tuesday nights. But what you get at the end—the responsibility, the respect, the security—keeps you going. You learn to cope, not complain, and problems don't bother you after a while. I also like the guys here. We wear uniforms and march, but we also party."
Thanks to Robinson, the biggest parties at Annapolis right now are the basketball games at Halsey Field House.