Seymour’s Robinson reflects on Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame induction

When she was in eighth grade at Seymour Middle School, Erika McCoy Robinson was attending a boys high school basketball game when Donna Sullivan talked to her and told her how much potential she had to play basketball.

Up until that time, Robinson said she was trying to decide if she was going to play basketball or swim at Seymour High School.

“(Sullivan) taking that time meant the world to me in my little head,” she said. “That was the beginning of me believing.”

Robinson went on to have an outstanding career at SHS and then at Butler University.

At Seymour, she helped the Owls win four straight sectionals and one regional.

The 1986 graduate of SHS finished with 1,072 points at Seymour and helped the Owls to a record of 67-23. She was a three-time all-South Central Conference player and three time all-sectional and three-time all-regional performer.

Robinson earned Converse All-American honorable mention after averaging 15.6 points and 10.5 rebounds during her SHS career.

She then was a four-year player at Butler, where she scored 636 points and had 538 rebounds with career-high averages of 9.0 points and 7.7 rebounds as a junior.

For her efforts, Robinson was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame on Oct. 30 in Indianapolis. She was scheduled to be inducted in 2020, but those inductions were postponed because of COVID-19.

“I have so many great memories of playing for SHS,” she said. “What I remember most are the people I shared those memories with. I could speak to the bus rides, to the locker room music pregame hype, the many times that coach Sullivan would send us to the locker room for not doing our jobs at practice, the wins and losses, but the people are what I remember most.

“Two of my best friends, Darla Lawson (Tee) and Teri Moren (a grade behind) were with me the whole ride. It was fun even through difficult practices because having close friends with similar goals is what it’s all about.”

She remembers the Owl fan base, as well.

“I also remember so many SHS girls basketball fans would travel everywhere with us to cheer us on. I remember getting cards of encouragement from several of coach Sullivan’s friends,” she said.

“Our friends and family were all in almost as much as we were as athletes. I think it all started with the coach, though. Sull believed we had the instruments to go far, and we believed she could get us there. We worked hard because we believed.”

Robinson was elected into the Seymour High School Athletic Hall of Fame in December 2019.

“Seymour has had some great people that have come and gone through that high school,” she said. “I felt very honored to have been recognized among some outstanding humans.”

Robinson was a 1986 Indiana All-Star. The Owls lost to a strong Scottsburg team in the semistate finals in 1986. Other starters her senior year were Moren, Julie VonDielingen, Libby McCoy and Darla Lawson.

Robinson recalled Lawson tore her ACL near the end of the regular season and missed the tournament. Lori Bell and Dana Osborne also were in the starting rotation that season.

VonDielingen and Moren also were Indiana All-Stars and helped the 1987 team advance to the state finals. They also scored more than 1,000 points at SHS. Robinson, Moren and VonDielingen were named to the Hall of Fame’s Silver Anniversary teams, and Moren and Sullivan are also in the hall of fame.

“I am so appreciative of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame induction. It is an acknowledgement that what I did as a high school athlete was extraordinary. But as I previously said, it was a group journey,” Robinson said. “Yes, Teri, Julie and I were blessed to have been given maybe a little extra physical talent, but our whole team bought into their individual roles, and that was just as significant.

“I grew up with a lifelong love for sports. I have three children and three stepchildren. I appreciate their support, and they were very excited about this award.”

She gave special thanks to Sullivan and said, “She cared more about Erika the person than Erika the athlete. As a student-athlete, I was very fortunate to have a family that was just supportive and unselfish with their time.”

Others inducted in the class of 2021 were Tina Bennett (Austin), Amy Bauman (Brownsburg), Kristin Mattox Cox (Charlestown), Debbie Benziger Dudukovich (Kokomo), Tiffany Goodin (Fort Wayne Snider), Angela Hamblin-Blakely (Gary Lew Wallace), Sandy Herre (Benton Central), Danielle McCulley (Gary West), Stacie Shepherd (Richmond) and Amy Walker Sundt (Bedford North Lawrence).