More than a few “Survivor” players took the time to pay homage to Cliff Robinson, the first-ever pro-basketball player to appear on the CBS reality TV show, who died over the weekend at the age of 53. The cause of death was lymphoma.
In 2014, “Uncle Cliffy,” as he was known, was recruited as a castaway at age 46 during season 28 of the show, “Survivor: Cagayan – Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn.” Robinson, part of the Brawn tribe, was intent on keeping his identity a secret while competing. But his cover was quickly blown by a fellow 20-something Brawn, Yung “Woo” Hwang, when he told him, “I have a few of your basketball cards, I’m not going to lie.” While Hwang came in second, the charismatic Robinson was deemed too great as a physical threat after winning six challenges. His teammates blindsided him during tribal council and his “Survivor” journey came to an end after 14 days on the island.
Hwang took to social media to express his thoughts about his pal after the sad news broke. “You were one of my favorite basketball players growing up. We shared some good laughs and memories in the Philippines #survivor. I will cherish and be grateful for our time together, My thoughts and prayers to you and your family at this time.” The post earned 1,600 likes on Twitter.
You were one of my favorite basketball players growing up.We shared some good laughs and memories in the Philippines #survivor I will cherish and be grateful for our time together. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family at this time. Rest easy Uncle Cliff 🙏🏼😔 #teammates pic.twitter.com/X3Pj1qLl4I
— WOO (@YungWoo23) August 29, 2020
Several fans of the show also shared their memories of Woo and Cliff’s relationship during the season on the post:
Ty Nevins: “You guys were a great team woo. I hadn’t seen survivor in years, when I saw the promo for your season and it had Cliff in it, growing up a huge NBA fan it made me tune in and I’ve watched every season since. It was really fun to see you and Cliff become friends on the show. RIP.”
Bolt35: “Woooooo so sorry man. Loved watching you two together.”
Efran Alexander likely summed up Cliff and Woo’s connection best: “Jordan had Pippen, Cliff had Woo. RIP Uncle Cliffy.”
The 6-foot-10 forward started his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1989, playing eight years for the franchise and helping the team reach the finals in 1990 and 1992. Robinson would also play for the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden Warriors and New Jersey Nets.