NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Former Lumberjack basketball star Josh Alexander recently completed negotiations to play professional basketball in Europe. Alexander will play this season with Polonia Warsaw, a club based in Warsaw, Poland.
"Until you get that call from your agent, that's when it finally hits you," Alexander said last month. "This took a while. Our season's been over since March, and this whole process has been going on since then. You're wondering, ‘Am I going to get a job?' You know you're capable, but anything can happen until you get that call."
Alexander is the second Lumberjack to earn a spot with a European club this year. Teammate and fellow 2010 senior Matt Kingsley signed to play in Lithuania during the summer.
"This is considered late to be signing with a team," Alexander said. "Matt signed a few weeks ago. I've had some more friends signed recently. I didn't know where I was going to land, so it's a lot of relief to just have it done with."
Alexander's new team plays in the PLK, the top professional league in Poland. Polonia is recognized as the oldest club of its kind in the city of Warsaw.
The Shreveport, La., native set numerous school records during his four years with the Lumberjacks. He finished his career as the program's all-time leader in scoring (1,074 pts), rebounding (684 reb) and 3-point field goals (311 3fg) at the Division I level. Along the way, he was a four-time All-Southland Conference honoree, including SLC Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year selections in 2006 and 2008, respectively.
"I just tried to do what coach [Danny Kaspar] said and put a lot of time into it on my own in the gym," Alexander said. "The main thing I did was listen and just try to learn as much as possible while I was here."
Over the last two years, Alexander has helped lead SFA to 50 combined wins and two straight Southland Conference championships - the first SLC titles in program history. Additionally, the 'Jacks made a postseason tournament at the end of each campaign, competing in the NIT in 2008 and earning the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2009.
"Right after we won the SLC Tournament, at the watch party afterward, that was the best feeling," Alexander said. "When we walked in and got the fan support, it was great. I was just so excited. It was the best feeling in the world. We accomplished what we'd been trying to do for four years and that moment really summed it up."
While Alexander looks forward to the opportunity before him in Europe, he knows he will miss some aspects of life as a college player.
"The thing I'm probably going to miss the most is the bond that I had with the players on the team," he said. "Like with Matt, he was my teammate, but he was also my roommate. We hung out a lot and we understood each other well. I'm not saying I can't have that on the professional level, but it won't be the same as in college."