Although Kiki Robertson has played basketball in the two outlier states of America, Hawaii and Alaska, she is far from being an outlier in the sport. Basketball is something she was born and raised to compete in and excelled in from a very young age.
In Hawaii, Robertson began playing at the age of four.
“I first got involved with basketball from my dad. He played at the college level too back in the day,” Robertson said. “I also had an older brother and neighbors that were all boys, and that’s what we were all into, so I would play with them.”
She started her basketball career young and continued it all the way through high school, with three of the years reigning as team captain. In addition, Robertson was twice named to Honolulu “Star-Advertiser’s” Fab 15 and won the title of Hawaii Defensive Player of the Year by coaches and media during her senior season.
It wasn’t until Robertson came to UAA that she saw her biggest improvements, that also happened to be her biggest challenges.
“My coaches always pushed out the best in me and made sure that every day I was getting better in all aspects of my game. I also think that it was my biggest challenge,” Robertson said.
During her freshman year, Robertson was a starter for all 28 games of the season that helped lead them the the NCAA tournament. By the end of the season, she earned a spot on the Second-Team All Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team, as well as breaking numerous freshman records.
Despite coming in with arguably one of the strongest freshmen debuts in UAA women’s basketball, Robertson admits it wasn’t without struggle and hard work.
“My biggest challenge was pushing through my mental and physical walls and to keep going, regardless of if I told myself I couldn’t,” Robertson said.
The constant desire to get better and break records lead Robertson to push boundaries throughout her college career. Over the course of her sophomore and junior seasons, she put many more titles to her name, including two more Second-Team All GNAC, GNAC tournament MVP, GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team and two GNAC Tournament MVP’s.
Robertson’s junior year gave her the opportunity to lead her team to runner-up at the Division II National Championships.
The challenges that she has overcome are the reasons she has made it this far.
“However, [these obstacles] allowed me to better than I could ever think I could because not a lot of people have teammates and coaches there for you to keep pushing you and supporting you when you don’t think that you can,” Robertson said.
In her senior season, Robertson and her team are currently ranked number two in the nation, but she and her team plan to take it just one game at a time. She realizes that they need to play every game like their last and work together as a team.
With her final season coming to an end within the month, Robertson will eventually close in on the end of her undergraduate degree in nursing.
“For my plans for the future, I hope to continue playing basketball somewhere overseas and eventually become a pediatric nurse,” Robertson said.
As for right now, Robertson plans to focus on her current season and classes. She and the rest of the women’s basketball team will be back in action on Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Alaska Airlines Center.