Brian Alexander has spent his adult life coaching high school, community college and college basketball as an assistant.
This week, the New Albany native became a professional head coach.
Alexander, 32, an assistant men’s and women’s coach for Itawamba Community College, was named coach of the Tupelo Rock-N-Rollers, a men’s professional team that will play this summer in the newly-formed World Basketball Association Exposure League.
“It was too good of an opportunity to turn down,” said Alexander, who noted that his new job will not interfere with his ICC duties. “I respect (Tupelo owner) Russell Brooks bringing the team here and what he’s trying to do.”
Alexander has coaching stops at Columbus High School, Northeast Mississippi Community College, Southern Mississippi, Southeastern Louisiana and Campbell University.
He will be joined by 35-year veteran high school coach Ollie Young, a native of Saltillo. Young coached Houston High School to two state championships during his tenture there.
“I’m excited about getting to work with these young men,” he said. “I think I can help.”
The Rock-N-Rollers will conduct two tryout camps next month – May 2 in Tupelo at Saint Paul Life Center and May 9 at West Point High School.
Locals will get a shot
“We haven’t signed any players,” Brooks said. “We want to give the local players an opportunity to make the team.”
The coaches will select 20 players from the tryouts and play an exhibition game May 15 to determine the final roster.
Daryl Wilson, 35, a shooting guard for Mississippi State’s Final Four team in 1996, said he’s interested in playing for the Tupelo team.
“It’s something I’m really interested in, something I’m considering,” he said. “Time will tell. I’ve always been able to shoot the ball.”
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal