Caliya Robinson

Caliya Robinson sets eyes on new opportunity with AU Basketball

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
W.G. Ramirez
Feb 17, 2023

When Caliya Robinson was barely into her high school years, she faced adversity no young person should endure.

Robinson almost lost her mother, Terri Johnson.


Robinson’s mother was diagnosed with lupus and it severely took a toll on her body, overwhelming her bones and crippling her to the point she could barely walk.

Suffice to say, Robinson’s appreciation for life goes without saying.

Thus, to this day, Robinson does what she can to either sit with Johnson and spend time, take her on walks and tend to her when she’s not on the court.

The first-year Athletes Unlimited-signee has been graced with her mother’s presence for two basketball games, two very important occasions, in the state championship for McEachern High School in Marietta, Geo., and on Senior Night at Georgia.

So, since flying is hard on Robinson’s mother, and it’s a rather long drive to Dallas, she’ll watch her daughter on televised and streamed games.

After all, she’s Robinson’s No. 1 fan.

“She supports everything I do no matter what it is, as long as I’m happy with it,” Robinson said.

Though playing overseas and the time differential made it difficult to watch games that were late at night wherever she may have been playing, Robinson said last season she had her eye on Athletes Unlimited, which this season has her excited for her turn in the league and any possibilities that would result from a successful season.

“It’s honestly just an exciting feeling, because you just never the opportunities that comes of it,” Robinson said.

That said, while many who play overseas or who played in Athletes Unlimited last season hope for a shot at the WNBA, Robinson has a relatively different mindset for this Spring.

“I really just want to come in and enjoy playing again and be able to play without all that stress,” she said. “Right now, if the opportunity is given, I’m gonna take it. But if not, I’m not gonna let that get me down.”

Of all the players who star in both the WNBA and Athletes Unlimited, newly signed Chicago Sky Courtney Williams is Robinson’s favoirite.

“I just love her energy and watching her play – it’s crazy fun, the excitement,” Robinson said. “When she gets the ball I know she’s gonna go crazy.”

Though the two have never met, Williams invited Robinson to some Atlanta runs. Robinson, however, couldn’t make it because she was overseas. The thought of meeting her and potentially playing alongside the veteran adds to her anticipation.

Being close with Taj Cole from their days together at the University of Georgia, adds to the anticipation of joining the 44-player league.

Robinson’s former Bulldog teammate – and AU fan favorite – has told her to be herself and bring her all while helping to smooth out any nerves she originally had once Robinson committed to her first season.

“Don’t be afraid, just come out there and play … because everyone who is there is just so welcoming and it’s gonna be a great experience for me,” Robinson said.

And when Cole said “bring you” to Robinson, what does that mean Athletes Unlimited fans can expect?

Robinson said a shot blocker who can run the floor and facilitate things when needed, providing an all around game for a league where the individuals certainly benefit from a diverse game.

“I think I’ll mix well, get along with everyone and learn from some of the best,” Robinson said. “And in the end, everyone will get a chance to see what I’m capable of while learning a little more about me, both on and off the court.”


W.G. Ramirez is a 35-year veteran sports reporter in Southern Nevada, serving as a correspondent for Athletes Unlimited.. Follow him on Twitter at @WillieGRamirez

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