Thomas Alexander (197-SG, college: Arkansas Tech) is a 197cm guard that is playing in Germany with BG Dorsten currently averaging 28,0ppg, 6,5rpg and 3,5apg. He has previous professional experience in countries like Luxemburg and El Salvador. He also played with the Southwest Flight (EBL). He began his basketball career with Eastern Oklahoma State College (JUCO) averaging 9.8ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 37.2%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 73.2% and then moved to Arkansas Tech University (NCAA2) averaging 9.1ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 70.8%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball during the summer.
Thanks Thomas for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats on continuing to grind. You have played in places like El Salvador, Mexico and Luxemburg despite having finished school in 2016. Why has it been difficult for you finding jobs the last 7 years?
I have to say it was difficult, because I had no support behind me to help me, I didn’t have the resources I have today and I would like to shout out those two, Drew Kelso and Thomas Sandlim from One Motive Sports Agency for giving me the opportunity to show my talents in front them to prove I deserve to be a professional.
What has continued to drive you to never lose trust in the basketball process? Or have you lost faith in the process over the years?
I would have to say just having true & genuine love for the game. You can take the player from the game but you can’t take the game from the player. I knew professional basketball is what I wanted, no matter how long it took me, now matter how stressful it would get. The love of the game never left me. There were plenty of days I wanted to just give it all up but I just couldn’t. It didn’t feel like the right thing to do. I’m glad I chose not to give it up.
Your journey continues in Germany with 2 Regionalliga team BG Dorsten. How blessed do you feel being able to continue to play the game you love for a living? Not too many NCAA 2 players go on to have a professional career.
Miles this is a huge blessing, it finally feels like everything is starting to work in my favor. Drew has been able to land me 3 overseas jobs within 10 months, regardless of how long I was there, I was there. Drew made it happen and I’m very grateful for him. I’m extremely blessed to be able to still play this game. I’ve worked very hard to be in this position. I believe a lot of division 2 players are being overlooked, even some division 3 players. We all have the same goals, we’re not any different from those who played Division 1, we just had to take another route.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? Have you had any friends play here before?
I honestly don’t know much about Germany. I remember my father telling me that my family stayed there before I was born. He’s retired from the US Military, but he was stationed there at a point of time. I actually do have good friends playing in Germany, Spencer Reaves, he plays for the Bayer Giants, also Chris Miller who played in the German Pro B league. I can’t remember the name of the team he played with though.
How did the connection to BG Dorsten come about? I can imagine finding jobs without an agent is always challenging.
I have to give all the credit to Drew Kelso. He made all of this happen. I had no ideal where I would be going next, he just told me to just stay in the gym, be patient, and trust the process.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 197cm guard :If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
I would have to compare my game to Paul George. A Three way scorer, inside, mid range, and behind the perimeter, nice ball handler for his height, and he can hold just about any position on the floor if needed. I see a lot of comparison in my game when I watch him play
Scoring and rebounding stands out in your game. What other strenghths does your game incorporate?
My other strengths are defending, passing, dribbling, blocking, being quick on my feet, quick to recover on defense, my length, athleticism, and good court vision.
You can defend the positions 2-4. How has your defense matured over the years and what kind of defender do you still want to become?
My man to man defense has become a lot better, becoming more quicker & lighter on my feet has helped me on the defensive side tremendously, of course there is always so much to do to become a better defender, which is a goal for me. I want teams to know me for having good defense.
On what areas of your game are you working on most so you can continue to improve your game?
I work on every area the most honestly. When I go to the gym I don’t just work on one aspect of my game. I work on all aspects of it.
You last played in Luxemburg for BC Mess (Luxembourg-Nationale 2) averaging 25.8ppg, 10.2rpg, 1.6apg, 0.6spg, 0.9bpg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 82.1%. How vital was this season for you getting your foot in the door in Europe?
I knew if I didn’t play well, I probably wouldn’t have another chance to play in Europe and I couldn’t afford that. There are definitely a lot of areas to play in but Europe is a great place to have a career.
One of your first pro teams was Denver-FAS San Salvador (El Salvador-Liga) averaging 22.0ppg, 9.2rpg, 3.5apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 29.8%, FT: 67.6%. How would you compare that league to the semi-pro leagues in the states in skill?
El Salvador honestly had good players out there, it just wasn’t a respectable league, I could see players from El Salvador keeping up with how we play in the states.
You were teammates with Chris Miller who since then has carved out a nice career and recently helped lead his team to the German Pro B. What memories do you have of him?
Chris Miller is a great guy! One of the beat guards I’ve played with. We definitely enjoyed our time over in El Salvador. I remember him scoring 40 points his first game, his mid range game is top tier, that’s what made him stand out, his mid range game. Nowadays, you don’t see too many attempts in the mid range area, the three pointer has taken over the game lol.
You began your professional career in the States with the Southwest Flight (EBL). What memories do you have of your rookie season and what was your wake up call where you knew that you were a pro?
I remember just wanting to be in a better situation, with basketball as far as my career but I was making the most of it. I kept a smile, attended every game, and played my heart out. I want to during the season of the EBL, the middle of the season, everyone started asking me ‘when are you going pro’ or asking me ‘why aren’t you in the pros yet’ that’s when I knew it was time to stop messing around and really try to make something happen for myself with this basketball.
How tough is the competitiveness in the semi-pro leagues in the States. Please give an example where you saw just how fierce it is with all the players?
They’re definitely tough, depending on the League you’re playing in. Our top semi pro league which is ‘The Truth League’ and ‘Dunbar League’ are two very competitive leagues in the state of Arkansas, and that’s just Arkansas, you have the ‘Drew League’ in California that’s well known. All type of NBA players go there and play in that league. LeBron James himself has even played, so that tells you the amount of competitiveness coming into the leagues in the states.
You played at Eastern Oklahoma State College (JUCO) averaging 9.8ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 37.2%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 73.2%. Every guy that I have spoken to that played JUCO raved about how tough the expereicne was, but one they would never not done. How was the expereicne for you?
Being at Eastern Oklahoma taught me valuable lessons in many ways, it had its ups and downs. The experience was definitely one of a kind. I don’t regret going there though, it was a stage in life that helped me see life from a different perspective.
in 2015-2016 you played at Arkansas Tech University (NCAA2): 12 games: 9.1ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 44.1%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 70.8%. What kind of an experience was this for you? What were the greatest positives that you gained from there?
I loved playing at Arkansas Tech University. I miss all my teammates from there. It was one of the greatest college experiences. I was on a bigger stage than JUCO so I felt I had something to prove. Arkansas Tech brought the best out of me. One of the positives it brought out of me was making me more of a confident player.
How did head coach Chad Kline groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Kline taught me the importance of respect and how far being respectful can take you in life.
Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Marquis Yates?
Definitely Marquis lol .. he was much stronger than me. He was also a great ball handler and shooter, it wasn’t easy taking to take the ball from him or keep him from getting inside the paint for an easy two points. He’s one that should be a professional. He can play some ball.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
I actually never played anyone in college that made it to the NBA. I don’t know if it counts but I played Bobby Portis (Power Forward for the Milwaukee Bucks) in high school lol.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Imara Ready Junior, Kahron Ross, Kevaughn Allen, Archie Goodwin, Bobby Portis
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
1. Michael Jordan 2. LeBron James 3. Kobe Bryant 4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
Why can’t it be two GOATS
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Should they have left it alone?
I don’t think I have actually. I loved the first Coming to America though.
Thanks Thomas for the chat.
Tags : THOMAS ALEXANDER, BG DORSTEN, GERMAN BASKETBALL