As Becoming, the Netflix documentary based on Michelle Obama's memoir of the same title reveals, the former First Lady had a healthy sibling rivalry with her older brother, esteemed basketball player Craig Robinson.
The movie offers a rare glimpse into her childhood years — via footage shot at her family home in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, Ill. — and her closely-knit relationship with her only sibling, Craig.
Meet Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama's older brother.
Just like his sister, Craig attended an undergraduate course in sociology at Princeton University. Michelle went on to study at Harvard Law School, while he decided to pursue an MBA in finance.
Craig showed immense potential in basketball from an early age. He was offered scholarships at the University of Washington and Purdue University — but he chose Princeton instead.
Despite their incredible achievements, Craig remains the favorite child. As Michelle revealed during a previous appearance on Good Morning America, their mother, Marian, would eagerly await his visits to the White House— seemingly forgetting that it was thanks to Michelle that she was living there.
"I am the First Lady but my mother is like, ‘When is Craig coming?’ [...] "I’m like, 'I live in the White House. What more do I have to do?'" the First Lady explained on GMA.
After his studies, Craig went on to play for some of the biggest teams out there. In 1983, he was drafted in the fourth round of the NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers — though he never ended up playing in the league.
After two seasons at the Manchester Giants and the British Basketball League respectively, Craig decided to switch careers. In 1988, he joined the Illinois Institute of Technology as a coach — and he stayed in the position for another two years.
A lifelong basketball obsessive, it only made sense for Craig to evaluate Michelle's romantic partners based on how they play the game. Barack Obama had to face this challenge shortly after he began dating Michelle in 1989 as well.
As the former First Lady writes in her memoir, Craig set out to assess Barack's moral character and generic approach to life by means of inviting him to play hoops. Not so surprisingly, he passed the test with flying colors.
"He wasn’t greedy. He showed character on the court. He called fouls and gave up fouls. You have to trust the guys you’re playing with in pickup, they’ll make the right call. He did all of that. I was able to get back to her and say, ‘He seems like a pretty good guy.’ The best thing about it I told her is he didn’t just pass me the ball because he was dating my sister," Craig previously told New York Post.
Craig took a temporary break from basketball in the early 90s. Eager to start a new career as a banker, he landed senior roles at world-leading companies like the Continental Bank or Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. However, his love of playing basketball never faded away completely. Since 2017, he has been working as the head of player development at the New York Knicks.
Becoming is available on Netflix now.