With Alex Fudge expected to make his college announcement on October 10, 2020, we thought it was a good idea to sit down with him to get to know him a little better. Evaluating him on the court, you recognize that he has tools that make him an ideal target for High Major programs. He has elite length and athleticism along with the ability to put the ball on the floor and defend multiple positions. We enjoyed our conversation with Alex, and we believe you will as well.
Now to our conversation with C/O 2021 Small Forward out of Robert E. Lee High School (FL) Alex Fudge in Q&A form:
Q: Tell me about your upbringing; where are you from originally?
A: I’m from Jacksonville, Florida.
Q: Whose your support system?
A: My mom and dad and brother.
Q: Do you have any siblings?
A: I have an older brother who plays Football.
Q: Tell me what a typical day is like for you right now?
A: I wake up and drop my dad off at work and then head to a workout in the morning, come home, shower, and then go online for school and my professor usually lets me out early and then I get a snack and something to eat, then go to another workout, come home after that and try to do some more work.
Q: So you’re taking college classes right now at Florida State College in Jacksonville, what is that like for you?
A: It’s a lot of work but you have to learn how to manage it. At first, it wasn’t easy but it gets easier and easier. You just have to be able to handle the workload and do the work.
Q: What do you want to major in in college?
A: I chose my major to be History and Sports Management. At first, I chose Law but I want to put all my time into basketball because I want to make it to the next level so I stepped away from Law.
Q: What has this summer been like for you with everything that’s been going on?
A: I only had a few tournaments this summer. It’s been a quiet summer because I broke my elbow before.
Q: How are you feeling now with your elbow?
A: It’s not 100% but it's good enough for me to play on. It’s still hard to extend but I’m in therapy and it’s at 85% right now.
Q: How do you describe your game?
A: At first I played around the rim but my game has evolved. I’m now able to beat a guy off the dribble and I have a quick first step. My ability to finish at the rim is what really stands out about me. I’m very athletic.
Q: What would you say your most transferrable skill is right now that trasnlates to the next level?
Q: What do you think you still need to work on?
A: Handling and shooting if I want to go to the league. The league is changing and it’s positionless and I need to improve on my ball-handling and shooting because at the next level you have to be able to shoot because you can’t get to the rim the whole time.
Q: Have they scheduled the high school season this year?
A: They’re saying that it should start normally but that’s not for sure. They have to get through football season first and if they can get through that with no outbreaks or anything then we should start on time but if something happens then they’ll probably push it back to February.
Q: How do you feel about that since this is your senior year?
A: It is kind of upsetting that we have to worry about if we’re having a season but you have to go through obstacles in life and you just have to overcome it.
Q: Has there been any adversity that you've faced on or off the court?
A: Yeah, when I was really young I had to ask myself “Is basketball for me?” But I just stayed to the ground and humbled and kept working and then I got my coach and thought “I want to make it to the next level” and we just trained. Just being dedicated and focusing on what you want can take you a long way because I was probably the worst play you’ve ever seen if you would’ve watched me in 8th grade.
Q: Where do you think that drive comes from?
A: Growing up it was really my brother. Watching him and his work ethic. He worked to get what he wanted and really grinded 24/7. So I watched him and monitored him and thought if I want to get to the next level this is the mentality I have to have.
Q: When did you fall in love with basketball?
A: My mom was a coach and she used to tell me stories when I was 3 or 4 about how she committed to USC and went JuCo instead to get her grades up and then ended up coaching. She put me into the game because I first played baseball and didn’t like it, then tried football and thought it was too hot and I don’t like to be hot. So she put me in basketball and would tell me stories about her and at the age of 4 is when I really fell in love with it and was dominating then.
Q: What’s your idea of what a mentally tough person looks like?
A: That’s something that you really have to have. Making it to the next level comes with a lot of stuff. You may go to a school where the coach is going to get into you and he’s going to say some things you might not like or might not want to hear and that’s where mental toughness comes in. You gotta chew the meat and spit out the bone. You have to take it as “he’s not getting onto me because he dislikes me, he’s getting onto me because he sees something in me”. If a coach doesn’t say anything to you that’s when you should be worried. I had to learn that early about coaches getting onto you. I used to take that and shut downplays and learn I have to pick it up because that can’t happen. If I want to be a leader and “that guy” on the team you just have to push through it.
Q: What kind of teammate would you say that you are?
A: I’m that teammate that brings life to the team. When a player makes a good dunk or shot I’m the one that’s yelling and hype. I’m the one that’s gonna bring the team up with a lot of energy.
Q: How competitive are you?
A: Very. I hate to lose. It eats me up when we lose against teams we aren’t supposed to lose to.
Q: What’s your mentality look like going into the next game after a loss?
A: We gotta get that game back we lost one and shouldn’t have lost it and we gotta get this one back and kill be 30. We have to make them feel what we’re feeling right now.
Q: What’s life like off the court?
A: Being that I’m taking college classes, it’s boring. All I’m doing is working out. I don’t go out that much and stay home.
Q: What’s your outlook like on life if basketball doesn’t work?
A: I’m in this program where I can get my degree. There are other options, basketball isn’t the only option. If basketball doesn’t work I have stuff I can fall back on.
Q: Do people ever try to bully you on the court and how do you respond to that?
A: In Jacksonville, everyone wants to be physical. I’m slimmer and when people try to get physical on the court they’re working more than me and I just try to get by easily. It’s nothing to me.
Q: Would you say that you have a high basketball IQ overall?
A: Yes sir. I like to see the play before it happens. I make mistake but I’ll sit there and predict things before the next play. I like to know things before they happen.
Q: Between your IQ, overall skillset, and competitiveness do you feel like that’s something that sets you apart from others your age?
A: I would say my IQ definitely. With some plays, I just think smarter and do different things than others. Some kids would think “playback on him he can’t shoot” and I would take that and be like “they don’t want me to shoot I’m come off the ball screen and be wide open.” There are ways that you can make them play how you want to play. That’s my thoughts. Sometimes I don’t even have to touch the ball to score. They’ll lock me down and all I have to do is go baseline short corner and let my guard drive and penetrate straight to the hole. As soon as he drives me guy is gonna help. That’s basketball, you’ve got to help. All I gotta do is cut back and go up for the lob.
Q: If you could take a skillset from someone in the league right now what would it be?
A: KD’s ability to score. His wiggle and ability to get a shot. If I had his strap it would be a wrap.
Q: What would you say would be an ideal thing to change in high school basketball right now?
A: We need a shot clock in Florida. Kids are playing slow and are known to play at their pace and once you get to the next level it’s gonna hit you hard. In a fall league I’m in right now we’re playing with a shot clock and we gotta actually run plays. In high school, most of the teams don’t even run plays. In college, you have to run a play to get a shot. Getting a shot is hard because everyone can play defense in college. So you have to execute.
Q: What do you think will be your most difficult adjustment at the next level in college?
A: I know when I get to the college I’m gonna have to add strength to my game and get in the weight room. I need to change this ASAP. I’ve been working but I have to up the work.
Q: What teams have offered you?
A: I have 31 offers right now and I’ll be dropping my top 10 soon.
Top 10: (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, UCF, and USC)
Q: What are you looking for in a program?
A: Development. I need to gain that weight and get stronger and I’m looking for a school that is putting people in my position into the league.
Q: Last question, would you rather hit a game-winning shot at home or on the road and tell me why?
A: It would have to be on the road. I have so much pain losing so for me to hit a game-winning shot that’s gonna upset the crowd and make a statement right there like “we’re here to play.” When I was in 10th grade we lost and it took two plays for us to lose and games like that hurt so for us to go out on the road and I was to hit a game-winning shot it’s like I’m here and we’re here.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Alex for taking the time to sit down and answer a few questions. I look forward to seeing his continued growth as a basketball player, and we're excited to see what college program he chooses. We encourage Alex to stay focused on his goals, keep the same mentality that has gotten him this far, and keep your circle tight. And lastly, when you step in-between the lines make sure they remember your name!