El Cajon Valley’s ‘open gym’ policy celebrates retiring Randy Robinson

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 EL CAJON — When El Cajon Valley High School athletic director Randy Robinson was still coaching basketball, rarely did a weekend go by without opening the doors to the school gymnasium and allowing players to simplay play the game they love.

 EL CAJON — When El Cajon Valley High School athletic director Randy Robinson was still coaching basketball, rarely did a weekend go by without opening the doors to the school gymnasium and allowing players to simplay play the game they love.

“It seems like as time goes on, more and more young student-athletes are spending more and more time in club sports,” said former Braves player P.J. Panebianco.
“There was a time coaches would open the gyms or field and athletes would play pick up basketball and volleyball, among other sports.”

To fill such a void and to celebrate Robinson’s retirement — coaching and teaching — from the Grossmont Union High School District, Paneianco recently held an “Open Gym” to celebrate Robinson’s valued career. Robinson coached both the boys and girls programs at ECVHS, along with a stint as women’s basketball coach at Grossmont College.
“Because of open gym time, teams got better as a whole with time,” Panebiano noted. “Fast forward to now and a high school coach may have players from as many as three or four club teams as teammates for a 3-month season and then they leave and become rivals for the next six to nine months.”

When Panebianco (ECVHS Class of ‘87) played, club programs were in their infancy.
“None of us ever played club sports and few of us played in college. he noted. “Still, many of us attended college and a couple have Masters degrees. Most of all, we are still friends and like to have a good time once a year at Open Gym.
The event was held June 30 at the Braves gymnasium.

“This was the second year in a row that we did this,” said Robinson. “And the first year we had about 14 players — men and women — players from 1982-89 who played for me.

This year we had 25 or so. You can check out ECVHS BASKETBALL ALUMNI on Facebook for pictures and read some comments.
“It was a marvelous time with people that still care about each other. It was fun to catch up on their lives.
“We culminated Saturday’s activities at a restaurant where they brought their spouses and told stories. Hopefully, it is something we will continue to do. 

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