The Drill: Bluejays' Alford knows he's not in Kansas anymore

Worthington is a lot different than Wichita. But Kansas' Amos Alford Jr. is adjusting pretty well to small-town life in southwest Minnesota as he performs in basketball for the Minnesota West Bluejays.

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Minnesota West men's basketball player Amos Alford says Worthington is cold, but he's heating up the courts for Minnesota West. Tim Middagh / The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- It might be worth a chuckle or two to listen to Amos Alford Jr. explain what it’s been like for him to move from Wichita, Kan., to Worthington .

“I didn’t know where Worthington , Minnesota, was -- in the bottom left corner? I’m not gonna lie, I’m used to having a downtown to go to, with buildings. Real buildings. And I’m used to there being a mall, like being able to go into Foot Locker and all that whenever I want to. But we all make adjustments in life. … It’s cold. It’s very cold. And I’ve never seen this much snow on the ground in the winter,” he explained.

Actually, he’s catching on to southwest Minnesota just fine. He’s an important member of the Minnesota West Community and Technical College men’s basketball team, called upon for scoring, rebounding, passing and leadership. An athletically narrow-hipped 6-4 freshman forward, he does most everything well. And don’t worry. He kinda likes it here, after all.


Still, you have to wonder just a little how a Wichita guy chooses Worthington for college.

“When I was in Wichita, I played basketball at Wichita East High,” he begins the story. “Due to my committing my senior year for football to go to Garden City Community College, I didn’t play basketball my senior year. But I quickly realized that I didn’t love football as much as I loved basketball .”

A friend of Alford’s knew about Minnesota West and helped him make a contact. Since he had a friend in Minneapolis, that became another line of contact.

The smooth-moving forward was on Twitter one day and someone from West texted him. Interest kind of grew from there.

Just from a few minutes with Alford, it’s easy to get the impression that he’s a unique individual and a good teammate. He goes out of his way to explain that being a good teammate is very important to him as he seeks life lessons that can get him a long way toward his personal goals.

Alford, you’ve already guessed, is this week’s Globe Drill subject . You can see a video of him online at . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: What do you believe are your best attributes as a basketball player, and what are some of your goals?

ANSWER: “I feel like me, personally, I play very hard. I try to play as hard as I can whether it’s defense or offense. I try to do everything I can, help everybody. I’m trying to be a better person from basketball. Because basketball can really teach you a lot. My dad’s taught that, too. Basketball can teach us life lessons. With those life lessons, it can be on and off the court, like you can be a good person, you can be a good teammate at all times. And that can really help your team be very successful, and that can take you very far into March.”


QUESTION: Tell us the most unusual thing about you that not everybody knows.

ANSWER: “The most unusual thing that people don’t know about me is that I love to fish. I know it probably doesn’t look like it, but I love to fish. I love to be on the boat, I love to throw my cast out there, you know what I’m sayin’? I love to catch, clean and eat. I like to catch crappie, walleye … fish always tastes good.”

QUESTION: What are some of your interests outside of sports?

ANSWER: “My interests outside of sports is that I definitely want to be involved in sports medicine and be a chiropractor one day. ‘Cuz I know it felt really good on my back when it got popped. And I’d love to do that for athletes for a long time coming.”

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