Small Town Roots: Okaw Valley grad Paige Robinson proving doubters wrong after winning D-II National Player of the Year


BETHANY (WCIA) — Being recruited out of a small school, former Okaw Valley guard Paige Robinson felt like she had to silence her critics.

“I had a lot of doubters going into college,” Robinson said. “Coming from a 1A, they didn’t think I was going to be any good. I think that goes to show somebody great can come out of 1A and it’s not just a label.”

After leading Drury to the D-II National Championship game this past season, Robinson was named the National Player of the Year after averaging 21 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists per game for the Lady Panthers.

“It still hasn’t set in,” Robinson said. “When Coach Eagan called me and told me I was National Player of the Year I just balled my eyes out.”

The 5-foot-10 guard even has her jersey hanging with 100 others in the women’s basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee this year. But team success is what she expected when she chose Drury and she’s found it contributing to 91 wins and two Final Four appearances over three seasons. Representing Okaw Valley at the national stage is something the senior is proud of.

“It’s pretty cool, but I know where I come from and I’m just glad I get to come back,” said Robinson. “They just all support me so much. It makes me feel so much better about myself that I can represent us at that Division II level.”

Even with all the success so far, Robinson still has one thing left to win, a national title.

“Definitely getting that national championship and getting a ring with the national championship logo on it, that’s just always been a huge goal of mine, going into college and I dreamed about it as a kid.”

Robinson still has two years of eligibility after COVID-19 granted a free year to all student-athletes. She reports back to campus for her fourth year next month.

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