Alexander has something to prove


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Iowa City West High product Dondre Alexander was a man on a mission during this summer’s Prime Time League. The recent high-school graduate let his phenomenal play speak volumes, and it helped coach Randy Larson’s team to a summer league title.

Alexander was one of the most explosive players at the North Liberty Community Center each night. He was among the top scorers during Prime Time competition, tallying 21.1 points per game. The 6-4 wing kept up with — and often times, surpassed — the high-level Division I competition, and his play caught the attention of Hawkeye players such as Prime Time teammate Anthony Clemmons.

“He’s really good,” Clemmons said. “When he’s going, he’s going.”

Even Alexander gave glowing reviews of his time playing with the top-notch talent.

“Oh [I enjoy it] yeah every time,” he said of guarding such stars as Devyn Marble after a Prime Time game earlier in the summer. “It’s a lot of fun. It just shows what I can do against top players in the country.”

Alexander has been described as a “great defender and competitor” by teammates and coaches throughout his basketball career. His intensity on the court is palpable from the stands, but sometimes his passion for the game and desire to win can be mistaken for an attitude problem.

“The thing about Dondre is he is a tremendous competitor,” West High basketball coach Steve Bergman said. “Sometimes, people can mistake his competitiveness for an attitude problem.”

His attitude was under scrutiny after his senior season at West came to an abrupt and bizarre end. Alexander allegedly went over to an opposing team’s sideline and taunted one of their coaches after a Trojan victory.

The story, which remains in a sort of haze regarding the exact details, continued with Alexander ultimately quitting the West basketball program rather than serve a suspension that would have lasted until the semifinals of Iowa’s state basketball tournament. There are rumors that a drug-test refusal was involved somewhere down the line. Alexander couldn’t be reached for comment or clarification.

“He was the best player in Iowa in my opinion,” Larson said. “He didn’t get the praise he deserved because of off-the-court problems.”

That wasn’t the only thing his off the court issues cost him. The former Trojan had signed a national letter of intent in November 2012 before the issues occurred. Alexander’s actions during his senior year caused him to lose his scholarship. As a result, Alexander will attend State Fair Community College in Missouri for the next two years.

Alexander was a first team all-state selection his junior year, and he won a state title with West. His talent hinted that a repeat might’ve been possible, if not for the issues that arose during his senior campaign.

Regardless of the past, Alexander is moving forward with ambitions of receiving another Division I scholarship while playing for the Roadrunners.

“The West High problems weren’t huge things,” Larson said. “I don’t think that the things he did were good, but I think he deserves a second chance. He’s has a tough two years ahead of him at State Fair Community College. It won’t be easy, but I think he’ll succeed. My money is on him.”

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