From AFL guinea pig to the NBL's oldest rookie: Hoop Dreams do come true for Alex Starling
Growing up, basketball wasn't Alex Starling's first love; American football was. But fate had different plans in store for what lay ahead.
Credit: Picture It Sport Photography (via NBL1)
It all started with a dream. Not a literal dream, but the visual manifestation of what could be possible for a kid like Alex Starling.
“I remember watching a documentary called Hoop Dreams, and I knew immediately after watching it, that’s what I want for myself, and I fell in love with the game of basketball.”
Widely considered the best sporting documentary of all time, the story of William Gates and Arthur Agee clearly resonated with Starling. Because as he grew up in Richmond Heights, a tough neighbourhood outside of Miami, Florida, he could see shades of his own future in that story. He also knew it was his best path to a better life.
“Mum always told us at a young age, you either earn a scholarship, or go to the military. It’s one of the two. And especially in 2001 after everything that happened, to me, I thought you’re literally signing your life away to go die. That’s not happening. I definitely had to make basketball work for me.”
But basketball wasn’t his first love. Growing up in Richmond Heights, he felt his destiny was with American football.
“I’m not one to talk myself up, man, but had I stayed with it, I’d be in the NFL. Probably the Hall of Fame. Like Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson.”
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