Alexander seizes chance

May 29, 2009

Adam Minichino - [email protected]


The time is right for Brian Alexander. 


The 17-year coaching veteran didn''t know how Russell Brooks found his name, but he didn''t dismiss the opportunity that will keep him on the court through the summer. 


Alexander, a former assistant boys basketball coach for Sammy Smith at Columbus High, is the head coach of the World Basketball Association Exposure League''s Tupelo Rock-n-Rollers. 


The paid position will keep the current Itawamba Community College men''s basketball coach busy into July. 


By then, the Rock-n-Rollers will have completed their 10-game regular season and playoffs. 


Alexander said the opportunity to coach former college basketball players from all levels should be a great way for him to continue to improve as a coach. 


"I didn''t get into it to get an NBA job, but anything I can do to better myself is good, and this falls into that category," Alexander said. "Anytime you can be a head coach for a professional organization I believe it will help you get another college job or wherever you are." 


Alexander recently completed his third year as assistant men and women''s basketball coach at ICC. In two years at the school, his recruiting and coaching efforts have played a key role in the programs'' two-year success of 92 wins, seven championships, six postseason appearances, 12 new school records, 15 postseason player selections, 15 student athletes signing with four-year universities, and five coach of the year awards. 


He worked eight years as a Division I assistant coach at Campbell, Southeastern Louisiana, and Southern Mississippi before arriving at ICC. 


Alexander said he enjoys working at ICC and isn''t seeking another coaching job. He did say, though, that he would like to be a full-time head coach in college or for a pro team. 


The league, which has six teams and is in its sixth season, was founded in 2003 to teach, to develop, and to expose basketball players to NBA, NBA - Development League, Continental Basketball Association, and international scouts. It is designed to be a training ground to develop professional players, coaches, and personnel on and off the court. 


"I applaud Russell Brooks because this league gives guys one more chance," Alexander said. "I think this is a great thing for our area." 


The Rock-n-Rollers have a 10-player roster. They opened their season Saturday with a loss to the defending league champion Decatur Court Kings in Tupelo.  


Tupelo will play the Cartersville Baseline Warriors at 7 p.m. today at the St. Paul''s Christian Life Center in Tupelo. Tickets are $6.

Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.