Glenn Robinson III Impacts Local Families Through ARI Foundation

Photographer / Robby Berry

ARI Foundation

As the son of an NBA star and Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Glenn Robinson III, founder of the ARI Foundation, had a lot expected of him growing up. Early on, however, the Gary native learned it was imperative that he pave his own path to success.

“That was probably one of the biggest hurdles that I had to get through, being young and having the same name as not only my dad, but a number-one pick in ’94 who was also a Purdue basketball legend,” Robinson says. “I had to get past that, create my own lane and realize I’m my own person.”

From birth, Robinson was immersed in basketball culture via his father. At a very young age, he even had a post-game encounter with one Michael Jordan.

“My dad was playing against Michael Jordan,” he says. “Michael had 44 points. My dad had 42. The Bulls ended up winning. I was in the stands with my mom and my grandma. You know those signs you hold up behind the backboard that say ‘miss?’ Michael Jordan turned it around to the side that said ‘make’ since they won, and he signed it for me.”

Not surprisingly, Robinson would go on to find success at Lake Central High School, where he realized what it was going to take if he wanted to make his own way to the NBA.

“I saw the numbers statistically as a kid, and I was like, ‘I have to make it. I have to be one of these 3,000 kids [at Lake Central] that move on to the next level,’” Robinson says. “I would be at the school an hour before school started, and I would get up 1,000 shots every morning. I really think high school taught me how to be different.”

Robinson went on to play college basketball out of state at the University of Michigan – a decision that puzzled some at first.

“My dad had gone to Purdue, and everyone always asked me, ‘Why didn’t you go to Purdue or Indiana, being an Indiana kid?’” he says. “I always tell them – because no one knows – that neither one offered me a full scholarship. Michigan offered me a full scholarship and is a better school, so I took it.”

After being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2014 NBA Draft, Robinson eventually found his way to the Indiana Pacers in 2015, where he spent three seasons playing for the blue and gold.

ARI Foundation

“Coming back to Indiana, it really made me realize how much this state loves basketball and the genuine love you get [as a player] here,” he says.

While playing for the Pacers, Robinson decided to buy a house in central Indiana and was drawn to Zionsville, where he currently resides.

“I’m a country boy – I like space,” Robinson says. “I do like neighbors, but I like a little bit of room. If you go to some places downtown, you’re just surrounded. I ended up moving to Zionsville in 2017, my second year with the Pacers. I kept the house and I love it.”

In addition to personally liking the area, Robinson’s 3-year-old daughter Ari lives in Carmel, so living in Zionsville keeps them near each other.

“It’s a community where I can get to downtown Indianapolis if I need to,” Robinson says. “As far as building a family and the school system, there’s nothing better that you can get than a town like Zionsville.”

Speaking of his daughter, Robinson started a foundation named after her in 2018 called the Angels are Real Indeed (ARI) Foundation, which is dedicated to empowering fathers and families of fatherless homes.

“Growing up with my father being who he was, I always said, ‘I want to continue on our legacy, and I want to be even better than my dad was,’” Robinson says.

Since starting his nonprofit, Robinson has gained support for the ARI Foundation from NBA teammates like Draymond Green and Steph Curry (as a member of the Golden State Warriors), Al Horford (as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers) and Myles Turner (a former Pacers teammate).

“I’ve had a bunch of teammates support me – teammates that are fathers and not fathers,” he says.

ARI FoundationWhile the nonprofit and its efforts have moved with Robinson from team to team, the current NBA free agent is now claiming Indiana as the ARI Foundation’s home base.

“Now being home more during the summer, I can really get out and reach the community where I’m from and try to make an impact,” Robinson says. “What better place to do it?”

On the near horizon, Robinson will be holding his annual fall-themed “Pumpkins with Pops” event. Like all ARI Foundation functions, this event will be free and open to the public.

“We encourage dads to bring their kids, but sometimes we do open it up to both parents,” Robinson says. “We just try to create as much positivity as we can within the city.”

At the end of the day, his ultimate hope is to have a lasting impact on families for generations to come.

“To be able to play in the league for seven years has been great, but it means nothing if I don’t pass along things that I’ve learned on and off the court,” Robinson says. “It’s so important that we just keep growing and have people who are leading the youth. It’s a hard job, and it’s not for everybody. But I’m willing to take that on.”

To learn more about the ARI Foundation and its upcoming events, be sure to visit

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