Nickeil Alexander-Walker on Media Day

Off the Court 2021-22: Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker

New Orleans third-year pro Nickeil Alexander-Walker has a tendency to be meticulous about things whether it’s in getting ready for basketball games, or how he organizes his home. One of 18 Canadian-born players who’ve appeared in at least one NBA game during the early portion of the 2021-22 regular season, Alexander-Walker has embraced his move from Ontario to Louisiana, as he discussed with

Best moments as an athlete: “Winning a championship, finally perfecting or getting what you’ve been working on for so long.”

How he chose his uniform number of 6: “I noticed the number 6 just coming up in everything in my life. (After wearing 0 in 2019-20), toward the end of my rookie year, I just wanted to change going into the next year. Something different. I didn’t really feel like myself. I wanted to let go of the struggle I went through and to embark on something new and embrace that. Six for me is who I am in a number.”

One thing fans might be surprised to know about him: “That I have OCD. I read books. I’m currently trying to get a dog. I’ve never had a dog before, so I’m open to all suggestions.”

Favorite thing about New Orleans: “The people, hands down. The second thing is the culture and food. Coming from Toronto, there is a lot of different culture and food, so it makes me feel at home.”

Pregame ritual: “From high school on, everything is left-right first. I put on socks, tights, shorts, jersey, then warmup pants, warmup shirt (in that order). Always left first. With my house, I try not to be as crazy about things, but everything is neat and in its place. That’s how I roll.”

First job: “Being a counselor at summer camps for Virginia Tech.”

Favorite athletes as a kid: “Kobe Bryant and Floyd Mayweather.”

What he’d be doing if he weren’t an NBA player: “As a kid, I really liked architecture. I thought it was cool to be able to design buildings and how they work. But the more I think about it now, I’d probably do real estate.”

Closest friends currently playing in the NBA: “(First cousin) Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander of Oklahoma City). You can’t get any closer than blood. And my teammates in New Orleans.”

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