Alex is an Eastern European native of Moldova, and his family migrated to Sacramento when he was ten.
He went to Highlands High School, playing volleyball, tennis, soccer and cross country running – his favorite sport.
At 15, he started playing basketball just to stay in shape, however, he fell in love with the game and has played it ever since.
He’s soft spoken but firm in speech, and when you talk to him, you can pick up his European accent.
AT: Whats your native tongue?
AT: Do you still speak it fluently?
AT: Speak some Romanian.
AS: Tu nustii ce spun eu, da poti sa incerci? (Would you even know what I’m saying ?)
AT: No, but since I do speak several languages, I thought I’d throw that out there! (We both laugh at this) Okay, you arrive in the U.S. as a kid, playing futbol; was it an advantage in school?
AS: It wasn’t an advantage, more of a connection. Not knowing the language, it was easy for me to play futbol, then make friends; it made transitioning to being an American easier.
AT: Did having dribbling skills in futbol make it easier when you started playing basketball?
AS: Oh yeah, much easier. It was same as futbol, except now I’m dribbling with my hands.
AT: You started for Highlands High with basketball as a freshman coming off the bench for the JV Squad?
AS: Yeah, then the following year, as a sophomore, I went to the varisty, coming off the bench. Then, my junior and senior years, I started. In my junior year, we went to the section finals and lost that game by two points. My senior year, we had a good year, but lost in the second round.
AT: In Cross Country, you had collegiate scouts come check you out?
AS: Yes, I was league mvp in running at Highlands High. Scouts came from William Jessup University (Sacramento), offering me a scholarship.
AT: Okay, you end up here though with five years, qualifying for level two. How have you adjusted to sports at The Q?
AS: Same way as when I arrived in the U.S. I’m connecting with people through basketball.
AT: You get drafted in the fourth round of the CBL (Championship Basketball League) and now leading the league in assists; you’ve also caught the attention of the SQ Warriors coaching staff. Have you thought about next season and what you want to do?
AS: I mean, I obviously want to play. I don’t care if I start, come off the bench, whatever. That’s why I joined the CBL. I just wanna play ball. I don’t care about the other stuff – I know I’m new, but I play team ball, and if team ball means I come off the bench, sobeit. As long as I have the chance to prove myself and prove to be a good teammate. I have the ball a lot in my hands. I can get indecisive, make a bad decision and my turnovers go up. I should be more selfish, but I don’t ball that way, and because of that, my turnovers have been high in the CBL. But, if making a pass highlights my team’s ability? I’ll take that over my own scoring. Maybe I could be more selfish, but that’s not my game.
AT: How has your family adjusted to you being in prison?
AS: It was hard for them and me. Now, they’re supportive, telling me to learn from my mistakes. Don’t repeat the same thing that got me in here.
AT: Whats the one thing that you’ve learned about yourself during this past year of incarceration that you didn’t or weren’t aware of previously?
AS: Just the knowledge of others around me, being around guys that’s been inside for decades — not letting one mistake define your future. I’m getting wisdom from all races, all ethnicities, and I’m not limited and refuse to be limited in my thinking. I’m an independent minded person and I think for myself, so wisdom is coming from all angles. I don’t want to come back to prison again, ever, so I’m learning how to be successful in the right way while I’m here.
AT: Thank you for sharing with the people some of who you are. Anything you want to say to The Q’s population and the broader audience?
AS: Its been a good opportunity to share with the people and be a part of something inside, the CBL and the SQ Warriors next season hopefully. Thanks to my fam ily for being there for me. It’s an obstacle but I’m learning, and to my friends and others, don’t worry. I’m doing positive work in here so that I don’t come back.