Pair of Columbia natives sign with Francis Marion basketball

FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion basketball coach Gary Edwards has announced the signing of 6-4 wing player Ja’Lil Robinson and 6-4 guard Derrick Sinkler Jr. both of Columbia, S.C., during the recent signing period. They will enroll at FMU in the fall of 2019 and suit up for the Patriots starting in 2019-20.

Robinson is a senior at Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia, where he played for coaches Dion Bethea and Andrew Glover. He averaged 11.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this past season as he helped the War Eagles capture their second consecutive SCHSL 2A state championship. Robinson scored 15 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and added five steals in the championship game, earning the Defensive Player of the Game award. Early in the season, he was named the MVP of the Battle at the Rock Tournament.

Following the season, he was named to the High School Sports Report 2A All-State Team, the 3-AA All-Region Team, and the Lexington County Chronicle’s All-Area second team.

Ranked as the No. 42 prospect in the class of 2019 for the state of South Carolina, Robinson has played club ball with the Columbia Hoyas.

“Both Derrick and Ja’Lil give us strength at the guard and wing spots,” Edwards said. Ja’Lil played at a great program and against great competition in high school and that should make him able to step right in and battle Peach Belt Conference players.”

Sinkler is a senior at A.C. Flora High School, where he played under the direction of coach Josh Staley. This season, he helped the Falcons to a 17-8 overall record, including a perfect 10-0 conference mark to claim their second straight 4-AAAA Region title.

He is a two-time SCHSL 4A All-State and All-Region selection, and was named the 2019 Region 4-AAAA Player of the Year. Sinkler played for the South Team at the 2019 S.C. Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game, and scored 16 points to take home South MVP honors.

Sinkler began his high school career at Keenan High School in Columbia before transferring to A.C. Flora before his junior year. In his first season with the Falcons, he scored 16 points per game.

He has played club basketball for Upward Stars Upstate-Silver and SC Supreme, where he was a teammate of 2019 Naismith College Player of the Year Zion Williamson.

“Derrick is a great shooter and offensive player that can play multiple positions for us,” Edwards said. “He knows a lot of our returning players, and is going to fit right in to the culture we’ve established here at Francis Marion.”

Robinson and Sinkler join 6-5 wing players Jamal Edmondson of Ladson, S.C., and Stan Eze of Marietta, Ga., and 6-1 guard Loginn Norton of Richmond, Va., in the FMU men’s basketball team’s recruiting class of 2019.

This year’s Francis Marion squad went 21-9, securing the program’s second straight 20+ win season and earning an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.

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