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Sooners' Danielle Robinson doesn't let sickle cell trait slow her down

Danielle Robinson discovered she had the blood disorder after she came to OU. But it hasn't affected the senior point guard on her way to becoming one of the most valuable players the Sooner women have ever had.
BY BERRY TRAMEL Published: March 25, 2011

Dani California can't sneak up on anyone on the court, either. She was third-team All-American last season and might be first-team this season.

Quite a career for a player who as a college rookie was told she had the sickle cell trait.

Sickle cell trait is not a disease and will not turn into sickle cell anemia. But it is a lifelong condition that will not change over time.

During intense exercise, sickled red cells can accumulate and block normal blood flow. Athletes with sickle cell trait have experienced significant physical distress, collapsed and even died.

Thus the needed monitoring of Robinson during times of exertion.

Except when is Robinson not exerting?

“I was nervous at first,” Robinson admitted.

But Robinson has stayed healthy with gradual preseason training, sitting out occasional sprints and avoiding all-out exertion longer than 2-3 minutes without a breather.

Who knew Dani California ever took it easy?

“The adrenaline comes into effect in the games,” Robinson said. “It's more preseason that they are more worried about monitoring how much I ran and for how long, things like that.”

Now she nears the conclusion of her Sooner career, either here in Dayton or next week in Indianapolis, 100 miles west down I-70.

Robinson doesn't want to see it end. For once, she's not in a hurry.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at


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