If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Simple words with a powerful meaning, especially for 6’8 forward, Joe Alexander. The 8th overall pick in 2008, Alexander was a top talent – raw, athletic, and loaded with potential. Three years later, he was considered by many anything but.
Labeled by the New York Daily News as one of the “Biggest Draft Busts of All Times” and relegated to the NBA’s Most Unwanted List, the 24-year-old’s lifelong dream of playing in the league seemed all but over. Sidelined by foot and leg injuries for almost two years, it nearly was. Miles from where he started and facing an overwhelming amount of adversity, Alexander did what any great competitor would do. He refused to give up.
“It was brutal having NBA coaches lose faith in my abilities,” shared Alexander. “There was so much uncertainty, especially with the injuries, but I refused to lose faith, viewed my set backs as a challenge, and used them as motivation to return stronger and healthier than ever.”
With a dedicated spirit and unwavering commitment to finish what he started, the former WVU Mountaineer took his talents to the NBADL, signing with Santa Cruz following a training camp stint with Golden State. At full strength and 100% healthy for perhaps the first time in his professional career, Joe did not just contribute, he excelled. Establishing himself this year as one of the leagues top prospects, Alexander has put up averages of 21.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game, shooting better than 54% from the field while turning some heads in the process.
Playing arguably the best basketball of his life, it is not hard to see why many, including this insider, have begun to take an interest in the former lottery pick. Was Joe Alexander one of the games biggest busts or just a late bloomer with tremendous untapped potential? Many believe the latter, including Euro-League powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv, who just signed the 27-year-old for the remainder of the season. Another stop in a long and arduous professional journey, Alexander is excited for what the future holds.
“I am truly blessed and have been given some outstanding opportunities,” he explains. “I feel myself getting closer every day and am truly excited about what lays ahead.”
So are we Joe . . . so are we. Stay tuned!