Francisco Marinho Robby Elson is a professional basketball player from the Netherlands although, originally, he hails from Surinam. Elson was born in Holland to Surinamese parents and specializes as a center. Elson was only 12 when he began playing at AMVJ Rotterdam. Two years later, he decided to stop playing all of a sudden, however, his gym teacher insisted on him returning to the club.
So at 16, Elson returned to AMVJ Rotterdam. However, he mostly started on the bench for the team. When on court, his exploits were strong enough to warrant a call-up to the Dutch Under-20 team. The same year, he decided to move to the United States to pursue his education as well as love for basketball. Elson attended the Kilgore Junior College and played for their team for two years before graduating and joining the University of California at Berkeley.
Elson didn’t make much impact in college until his senior year where he helped the team reach the summit of the NIT Championships. He graduated out of college in 1999 and was picked by the Denver Nuggets in the 1999 NBA Draft’s second round. However, to gain some experience, the Nuggets decided that before Elson was ready to play in the NBA, he needed to gain some exposure elsewhere.
So Elson moved to Spain where he played for two seasons with FC Barcelona. While his first season had a 3.4 and 3.9 average in points and rebounds per game, he raised his level in the second year to 6.9 points per game and 4.5 rebounds. His playing time had also increased from 32 games to 34. For the 2001-02 season, Elson moved to Pamesa Valencia where he dropped on all stats. Averaging just 4.1 points per game with 4.4 rebounds, Elson moved to Caja San Fernando in 2002-03 where he had a wonderful season.
After averaging 9.7 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game, Elson was called back to the NBA by the Denver Nuggets. Elson started slowly again, barely getting enough on-court time. Scoring at just 3.6 points per game with 3.1 rebounds, Elson began getting accustomed to the style of play in the NBA. By his third season, Elson was firmly placed in the lineup, starting 54 games out of the 72 he appeared in. Averaging 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, Elson was getting almost 22 minutes of playing time.
In the 2004 playoff series, Elson stepped into fame after physically containing Kevin Garnett. A hard foul sent Garnett into the seats behind the basket while Garnett later retaliated with an elbow into the groin.
In 2006, Elson signed up with the San Antonio Spurs for a 2-year, $6 million contract.