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The Drill: Alex Brown is in a good place at Minnesota West

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WORTHINGTON -- At 23 years old, Alex Brown has already done a lot of living and a lot of moving around.

The first-year guard-forward at Minnesota Community and Technical College grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D., but he was born in Lincoln, Neb. In the third grade, he moved with his family to Biloxi, Miss. Later, they came to Sioux Falls where young Alex learned basketball skills that would carry over into college.

Basketball was a big part of his life at an early age. He played for Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, then for Washington High School in the same city. He achieved a two-year degree at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, still desiring to continue his hoops career.

“I never gave up on my dream and my goals. I was just looking for the right opportunity and the right fit,” he said.

Today, Brown is a major contributor on a Minnesota West team that has consistently been both exciting and good. Athletic and driven, Brown can drain the 3-pointer and also drive through traffic for impressive twisting layups. He’s especially impressive with his drives, which often result in success against more than one opponent taking him head-on.

When Brown was young, he patterned his basketball on his hero, former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. As he matured, he turned to his mother -- for her dedication to the family and for her work ethic -- as his hero.

The Globe discussed these things, and more, in today’s episode of The Drill. You can access video footage of the feature online at Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: How did you choose Minnesota West as the place to play basketball at the next level?

ANSWER: “I didn’t know much about this school before I came here. I actually had a buddy who I grew up with back in Sioux Falls who knew Coach Babler, who was the coach at the time. I came down here for a couple of open gyms in the summer, and kind of played pretty well. Coach Babler liked what he saw, and he asked me to be part of the program. And everything just kind of fell in place from there.”

Q: It seems that you’re almost impossible to stop driving the lane with the ball. Where does that ability come from?

A: “The ability for driving into the lane, I would say comes from playing with older people at a young age. I remember when I was in middle school when I played in men’s league alot, and in open gyms. I think that physicality and just playing against older guys gave me some of the abilities I have out there.”

Q: How has this Minnesota West men’s basketball team gotten better since early in the season, when you lost games where you had leads? It didn’t take long before you were winning games from behind.

A: “I think one of the things that helped us this year is just camaraderie. Being able to play with each other, being able to develop that brotherhood.”