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Robitaille played professional basketball with Springfield in the ABA – The Collinsville Press
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Robitaille played professional basketball with Springfield in the ABA

Chris Robitaille, a 2009 Canton High graduate, is playing pro basketball with the Springfield Sting in the ABA.

CANTON — Former Canton High All-State player Chris Robitaille is playing professional basketball with the Springfield Sting of the American Basketball Association.

The 6-foot-5 Robitaille is playing forward for the Sting, who finished the ABA season with a record of 11-4 in the Northeast Division. Springfield, which has won eight of their last 10 games, has lost just two games in 2017.

The Sting won their first playoff game last weekend with a 145-121 win over the New York Court Kings. Springfield won its second game a day later with a 145-126 win over the Atlantic Coast Cardinals from Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Springfield finished one win shy of earning a spot in the ABA’s Final Eight national tournament in Baltimore with a 125-123 loss in the Northeast Division championship game to the Jersey Express in Wayne, N.J. on Sunday.

The Sting played their home games on the basketball court at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. The court is overlooked by the individual display of the hundreds of men and women from around the world in the Hall of Fame.

“The neatest thing was stretching out before games and looking up and seeing the Hall of Fame plaques around the rotunda,” Robitaille said. “We have a very good team. Everyone plays well together. It’s fun.”

Robitaille, who graduated from Canton High in 2009, played collegiate basketball at Eastern Connecticut State University where he scored 1,003 points (9.2 ppg), pulled down 638 rebounds (5.9) and had had 93 blocks and 136 assists. He was in the top 10 in career rebounds and blocks when he graduated in 2013.

Robitaille is a project manager at Tilcon in New Britain and has played some basketball in the Greater Hartford Pro-Am League summer league for the past few years. His coach in the summer league – Dr. Steve Sobel – is the general manager and head coach of the Sting.

Springfield features former UConn center Charles Okwandu, New Britain’s Roosevelt Lee, once the top high school recruit in Connecticut; Phil Starks, a NCAA Division III All-American from Western Connecticut State in Danbury; former Weaver High star Charles Easterling and former New Britain High star Darius Watson, who went to an outstanding career at Albertus Magnus in New Haven.

Robitaille estimates that he plays about 20 minutes a game. He scored 21 points in a regular season game against New Jersey. Additional numbers on what Robitaille has done aren’t available because the Sting doesn’t keep individual statistics.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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