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Alex Austin

Growing up in Fresno, California, Alex was not afforded many opportunities and as a teenager began spending time with a new group of “friends” who also happened to be local gang members. Alex’s father recognized the path of self-destruction that his son was headed on and after the last day of school loaded him in the car and moved him to Gridley, California. There in Gridley, a gentleman by the name of Bob Brown saw the potential in Alex as an athlete and quickly took him under his wing. Early every morning before school, Bob would pick Alex up at home and they would train and work on his basketball skills.

All of his hard work and dedication paid off, bringing visits and offers from many Division I basketball coaches and schools. Alex chose to attend Arizona State University where he received a full athletic scholarship. Following his collegiate career, Alex was fortunate to play professionally for 15 years where he played in the CBA, NBA, ABA, South American and European Leagues. Throughout his career, Alex also has coached and directed basketball camps for many notable figures within the sport including Bryon Russell, Thurl Bailey, Pat Riley, Magic Johnson and Rick Majerus, to name a few.

Coaching camps in the summer, Alex came into contact with hundreds of kids each year, yet he knew that there were many who were missing out on this fun and rewarding experience simply because they could not afford the camp participation fees. During the ’03-’04 basketball season, where he was playing in Poland at the time, Alex and his wife Beckie began talking about these kids and set in motion their vision for A-Train for Youth.

Although the program initially focused on basketball camps, it has since evolved to include teams and training athletes at various skill levels. Working with children and passing along the knowledge of the game that has given him so much opportunity in life, is what drives him daily. Alex is extremely active within the community and cares deeply about each athlete participating in his program. Although his passion may come across as overbearing at times, there isn’t any doubt that he is passionate about each athlete associated with the program. Alex feels truly blessed to work with such a great group of kids and be able to do what he loves. Within a short period of time, the program has grown faster than he ever imagined and he looks forward to where the program will be in the coming years and beyond.

 

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