Robert Covington just completed a four-year career as a member of the Tennessee State men’s basketball team. During his time as a Tiger, he was name to seven different All-OVC teams and left the school as the seventh leading scorer (1,749) and rebounder (876). Robert recently graduated from TSU with a degree in Exercise Science and he took the time to talk about his collegiate career with tsutigers.com.
TSUTigers: Talk about your overall TSU experience.
A: Overall I had a great experience in my four years. It was a blessing for me to come to TSU, because if I had gone anywhere else then I don’t think that I could have made it into the NBA.
TSUTigers: What do you love most about TSU?
A: I love the environment at school. Everyone here from the students to the staff put maximum effort in everything they do, so it feels good to have support around you and feel like you are working towards a common goal.
TSUTigers: What will you miss most about TSU?
A: I will miss my old teammates most of all. I won’t be able to see those guys perform as much as I would like because I will be traveling and playing myself.
TSUTigers: What is your most memorable basketball moment at TSU?
A: My most memorable experience is when we beat then-undefeated Murray State on the road during my junior year. That feeling was amazing. With all the doubts that people had against us, it felt great to prove them wrong and prove that we were one of the best in the conference, if not the best.
TSUTigers: What is your most memorable non-basketball moment at TSU?
A: My most memorable moment by far was my graduation. All the hard work that I put in in the classroom and on the court paid off in that one moment.
TSUTigers: How do you feel social networking played a role in this season?
A: Networking played a huge role for me last season. It allowed me to speak properly to members of the media and that helped in the NBA’s interviewing process. I had so much practice talking at events and to different people that it is a relief that I don’t have to work on it.
TSUTigers: Do you have a favorite TSU fan/supporter? If so, who?
A: My biggest supporter during my time at TSU is Titus Wootson. Titus has been supporting me from day one.
TSUTigers: What advice would you give to incoming freshman?
A: My advice would be: “don’t think that just because you are at a smaller school that you can’t compete with the best of them. You are here to play ball just like everyone else, it doesn’t matter where you have come from on the court.”
TSUTigers: What was your most challenging class at TSU?
A: Biology. I had that class in the middle of the season and the traveling made it hard to catch up on stuff that I had missed.
TSUTigers: Who was your favorite professor?
A: I have a couple of favorite professors. Ms. Patrice Elder, Dr. Kevin Jones and Mr. Jason Smith were great because they had so much faith in me and helped me realize that getting my degree was the most important thing that I could do because basketball won’t last forever. They held me to a higher standard and made me work for everything.
TSUTigers: What organizations were you a part of outside of basketball?
A: I was part of the Student Advisory Committee and we were in charge of planning events for students and making sure that the events included everyone.
TSUTigers: What’s next for you?
A: I am just going to continue to work hard and get to where I want to be. I am truly blessed to be in this position. [NOTE: Covington signed a guaranteed contract with the Houston Rockets shortly after the NBA Draft and just completed a stellar stint in the Summer League].
TSUTigers: Once you are an alumnus, how will you stay connected with TSU?
A: I will stay connected by coming back to watch games as much as I can. I will also keep in touch with the players that are on the team now to make sure that they are handling everything on and off the court.
TSUTigers: What do you know now that you didn’t know coming in as a freshman?
A: There are so many things I learned. I learned a lot about life in general and every day I learned something new.
TSUTigers: What have you learned at TSU that you will keep with you for the rest of your life?
A: TSU taught me strong values and a strong work ethic. I felt that during my time, TSU put me in a position to pursue my dreams and kept me accountable for my actions. I also learned how to be a positive role model to future students.
TSUTigers: Is there anything else that you would like to say to the TSU family?
A: I thank everyone for letting me be here and for all the good times that we had. It was a great experience and I wouldn’t want to change it.