What We Know About Michelle Obama's Brother Craig Robinson

Former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, has never been shy about her affection for her immediate and extended family. "There's nothing more important than family," Obama once declared during an interview with Access. And it's safe to say that sentiment extends to Obama's big brother, Craig Robinson, too! "I've got an older brother, my big brother, who I love dearly, who is now a basketball coach at Brown University, " the future first lady gushed to an audience about her big bro way back in 2007 while on the campaign trail for her husband, Barack Obama

But aside from being his mother's favorite child (as Michelle recently joked in a birthday post for Robinson on Instagram) and the older brother of a famous powerhouse of a woman, what else is there to know about Robinson? As it turns out, he's pretty successful in his own right! But don't just take our word for it. Here's everything we know about Obama's older brother.

Craig Robinson has always been Michelle Obama's protector

Michelle Obama left no stone unturned in her 2018 memoir, "Becoming," including the details she shared about her close bond with her brother, Craig Robinson. "You have been my protector since the day I was born. You have made me laugh more than any other person on this earth. You are the best brother a sister could ask for, a loving and caring son, husband, and father," she wrote in the confines of the books about Robinson. Aww!

And when it came time to meet his little sister's boyfriend, Barack Obama, he had his protective brotherly antennas up then too. Fortunately for Barack, he passed the smell test. Robinson later revealed on an August 2020 episode of his sister's podcast, the "Michelle Obama Podcast," that it was the way that Barack played a pickup game of basketball that really made a good impression. "When you play pickup basketball, a lot is based on integrity. Because you have to call your own fouls, there are no referees," Robinson explained. "And there's always that guy who acts like he's a good dude until he has to make his own calls, and he's callin' fouls all the time. Well, Barack wasn't that guy, and that was good to see. That was the first thing. The second thing is he could actually play a little bit. He wasn't lying about that he played, about how good he was," Robinson recalled. 

Craig Robinson is a Princeton University grad too

Michelle Obama is well known for being a Princeton University alumni — but make no mistake about it — her big brother Craig Robinson was the first Robinson to attend the esteemed school. Still, the road to Princeton wasn't exactly an easy one for Robinson. During an interview on "In Depth with Graham Bensinger," Robinson revealed that he was recruited for basketball by the University of Washington, Texas Arlington, and Princeton University. Alas, the offer from Princeton wasn't a full ride. In short: He and Michelle's parents would have to dig deep into their own pockets to come up with the rest of the tuition money. And while Robinson initially planned to go to the University of Washington because of the full-ride offer, his dad made it clear that he would be very disappointed if Robinson let the money issue be the deciding factor in not going to Princeton. "And that's how I ended up going to Princeton," he recalled. "It changed my life." And that it did! 

Craig Robinson's college basketball career proved to be very successful

During his time at Princeton University, Craig Robinson not only made his father, Fraser Robinson, proud but Princeton University as a whole as well. Robinson racked up a staggering 1,441 points during his time at the university and earned the Ivy League Player of the Year two years in a row. No small feat, indeed! Still, he is adamant that it was his time off the court and in the classrooms at the prestigious university that really made a lasting impression on his life. "Attending Princeton gave me the academic and intellectual capabilities to excel in my career. The fact that I participated in extremely challenging courses with extremely talented classmates gave me the confidence to know that I could compete in the working world with anyone doing anything," Robinson told Ivy. And speaking of the working world...

Craig Robinson went pro and worked in banking

Upon graduating from Princeton University, Craig Robinson opted to play basketball professionally. While the Philadelphia 76ers initially drafted him, he ended up playing across the pond with the Manchester Giants for two seasons. Eventually, however, he made his way back to the United States, convinced he was ready to dip his toe in the coaching pond. However, his former college coach, Pete Carril, discouraged him. "You don't want to be a bleeping coach," Robinson told The Daily Princetonian about his conversation with Carril."Here you are a kid from the South Side of Chicago with a Princeton degree. You should get a job on Wall Street somewhere — leave this basketball alone," Carril commanded him. And so he did.

Robinson went on to further his education, earning a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, eventually accepting a Vice President position with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Alas, it appears his heart wasn't really in it. "I was coaching part-time in youth leagues and high schools. My business success, albeit good — in fact, maybe even grand by some measures — wasn't bringing me the kind of pleasure and joy that I felt when I was coaching," he confessed during an interview with Inc. And that's when he decided to take the bull by the horns and return to his roots — basketball. 

Craig Robinson serves as the executive director for the National Association of Basketball Coaches

Following his stint in the banking and business world, Craig Robinson carved out a successful career for himself in... you guessed it — the world of basketball. Robinson not only worked coaching at Northwestern University, Oregon State, and Brown University, but he eventually scored a highly coveted analyst position with ESPN and even a basketball executive with the Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks.

It was in July 2020, however, that Robinson took yet another leap of faith and left his job with the New York Knicks for an executive director position with the National Association of Basketball Coaches. "I'm extremely honored and excited for this tremendous and vital opportunity," Robinson said in a press release for the organization. Meanwhile, President Jamie Dixon also relished their recruitment of Robinson. "Craig encompasses everything we were looking for and more in the next leader of the NABC," he gushed. "Craig's experiences as a decorated student-athlete, an accomplished coach and a high-level administrator uniquely position him to lead our association during this crucial moment in time for basketball. Given his background, education and values, we have exceeded expectations from when we started the search." Bravo, Robinson!