It is an understatement to say Alex English brings an impressive resume to his position as an assistant coach. The Basketball Hall-of-Famer and the league’s 11th all-time leading scorer with 25,613 points was appointed to his current post with the Raptors on June 7, 2004.
English joined the Raptors after spending the 2003-04 season as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers. He served as director of player personnel and assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2002-03 campaign. English began his professional basketball management career in 2001-02 as the head coach of the National Basketball Development League’s North Charleston (S.C.) Lowgaters. In his lone season at the helm, he guided his team to a 36-20 record and a berth in the finals of the first NBDL Championship.
The 6-foot-7, 190-pound English was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1997. An eight-time NBA All-Star, he was selected to the all-league second team three times (1982, 1983 and 1986), and in 1988 was presented with the league’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his dedication to community service. English averaged 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 1,193 regular season games, shooting an impressive .507 from the field and .832 from the foul line. He appeared in 68 postseason contests, averaging 24.4 points and 5.5 rebounds. A second-round selection by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1976 (23rd overall), English played two seasons in Milwaukee (1976-78), two with the Indiana Pacers (1978-80), and 11 in Denver (1980-90) before finishing his career in 1990-91 with the Dallas Mavericks.
English was dealt by Indiana to the Nuggets on February 1, 1980, along with a first-round draft pick for George McGinnis. He would go on to become the Nuggets’ career leader in scoring (21,645) and assists (3,679). In 10 of his 11 seasons in Denver, he averaged better than 21 points, and in eight of those seasons scored more than 25 per contest. He led the Nuggets to nine straight playoff appearances from 1982-90, including a berth in the 1985 Western Conference Final. He averaged 24.4 points during 10 playoff seasons. On March 2, 1993, English was honoured by the Nuggets with the retirement of his uniform No. 2.
As a collegiate standout, English averaged 17.8 points and 9.6 rebounds as a four-year starter at the University of South Carolina. He contributed career-bests of 22.6 points and 10.3 rebounds in his senior season. He earned his undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies.
In 1985, English convinced fellow NBA players to donate their shares from the All-Star Game to Interaction Ethiopia, a relief fund assisting with efforts in famine stricken Ethiopia. English visited the area during the summer of 1985.
During the last five off-seasons, English has returned to Africa with a contingent of NBA players as a camp director for the Africa 100 Camp. He has done so every year since as a member of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program. The basketball instructional camp for the top 100 young players from more than 20 African countries also features extensive community outreach and incorporates educational seminars addressing the importance of social issues such as HIC/AIDS prevention and education.