Joe Alexander: Basketball Joe
By: Lindsey Mitchell,

Basketball, basketball, basketball. For first-year Hornet Joe Alexander, thats been the only thing on his mind since he was a child.

I never played other sports growing up, the 6-8, 220-pound forward recalled. Ever since I can remember, Ive wanted to play professional basketball.

At the 2008 NBA Draft, that dream became realized. Following his third year at West Virginia, Alexander was selected eighth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Getting drafted didnt even really feel real. It literally felt like I was floating or dreaming because I had been thinking about it for so long, he said. To have it in front of me was such a shock.

Alexander looks back on his first NBA season knowing hes made a lot of progress.

The progress from my rookie year until now I feel like Ive come a really long way, he said. When youre a rookie, everything moves really fast and youre kind of lost and in a daze. Once you come out of that, you really start learning.

Born in Koushung, Taiwan, Alexander spent the first eight years of his life in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong before moving to the United States. Looking back, he parallels his childhood to that of a typical American kid growing up making lasting friendships and growing up playing basketball.

When his family moved to the United States, Alexander remembers the transition being difficult.

There are a whole lot of subtleties that are a part of American culture that you dont even realize if you live here and that dont exist abroad, he said. With that said, everyone was really nice and accepting.

At the start of his third NBA season, Alexander is finding himself in the midst of a new adjustment playing for a new team and coaching staff.

I think the main growth that Ive had, thats probably shared by everyone else on the team, is learning this staffs system, he said. Thats been my biggest focus.

In his last two seasons with Milwaukee and Chicago, Alexander moved between playing small forward and power forward. The Hornets have put him in the position to make power forward his sole focus.

Making the transition from 3-4 to exclusively 4 has been great for me, he said. Not only does it allow me to master one position, but also because I enjoy the things that this coaching staff wants its 4-man to do.

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