NEGR - Northeast Girls Recruiting

Friday Feature: Alex Hart

This week’s Friday Feature dives into the basketball journey of Alex Hart. As you hear from her AAU Coach (and Uncle), Alex played every role on a team over the course of her basketball career. Each week, we hope to provide a glimpse into top committed seniors basketball journeys to share with other aspiring college basketball players.
 
Please continue reading to read more about this week’s Friday Feature, Alex Hart (ME)!
 
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Alex Hart, Class of 2018, 5’7, Pos: PG, Thornton Academy/Maine Firecrackers – COMMITTED TO: BRYANT
 
When did you first start playing basketball?
I first started playing basketball when I was 6 years old through our community rec program and my mother was the coach. 
 
What was your overall recruiting process like and what were some of the schools that showed interest in you?
The overall recruiting process was intimidating at first. Talking with coaches made me nervous, but it was exciting as well. Some of the schools that were interested in me were Stonehill, Wofford and St Anselm.
 
Did your family, friends, etc. play a role in your decision and how so?
My family played a role in my decision because they put some things into perspective for me. My family has always watched me play and going to Bryant University would still allow them to do that, as I won't be that far from home. 
 
Tell us a little bit about your high school and AAU experience and how both played a role in your decision.
My high school experiences are much different from my AAU experiences. In high school, I am expected to score more and have a bigger role then my AAU team. In AAU I play a true role of a PG and my first job is not to score, but to do all the other intangible things such as take care of the ball, deliver the ball to our scorers, break a press, and play tough pressure defense to cause turnovers. In high school you are playing with friends you have known most of your life and in AAU you may not know your teammates because they come from all different towns throughout Maine. I was fortunate enough to be part of an AAU team (Maine Firecrackers) we call family. We are all like sisters and our families are all very close. It has been something very special to me since beginning in 5th grade. 
 
In the end, why did you choose Bryant?
I chose Bryant because academically they are a very strong business school. The opportunities you have after graduation are amazing. It is a beautiful campus and the school has a top-notch innovative learning environment. From a basketball perspective, I absolutely fell in love with the coaching staff and their coaching philosophy. I go for my official visit in September and I am looking forward to meeting the rest of the team. 
 
What are you most looking forward to at Bryant?
I am looking forward to meeting new people and joining a new family. I am excited to start a new journey and get a great education. 
 
What is your favorite memory playing basketball growing up?
My favorite memory of playing basketball has simply been the lifelong friends I have made. With AAU, we had the opportunity to travel a lot and experience things in other states, which I will never forget. 
 
Any advice for players who are looking to play at the next level? (About the recruiting process, on and off the court, etc.)
My advice to others would be to cherish every moment because when people say it goes by fast it really does. Make short-term goals and long-term goals for yourself and put the work in to obtain those goals. If you are fortunate enough to be recruited, stay humble. I kept a journal of the schools/coaches that reached out to me and would write down things they said and how often they called so when it was time to start thinking more about what schools I would be interested in I could refer back to the notes I had taken. It's important to be involved and engaged in the process. Don't be afraid to ask questions. It is an intimidating process, but fun at the same time. Enjoy every minute of it!
 
How will your high school team be this upcoming season?
My high school season is going to be different then in years past. We are going to be very young and also inexperienced. With this will come new challenges and opportunities for me to step up. I am happy to be playing my final season with all of my friends since grade school. 
 
What are you most excited for in your senior year?
I am most excited about my senior year to be able to play relaxed and have fun. Committing early takes some pressure off of me. I know this school year will fly by so I want to leave high school doing well in the classroom and leaving it all on the basketball court. I may even go back to running outdoor track and help my team contend for another state championship. It will feel good to enjoy this final year with my twin brother and all of our friends. 
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Now hear from Maine Firecrackers Head Coach (and Alex’s Uncle), Don Briggs on what it has been like coaching Alex over the years.
 
Where did you first see Alex play?
Alex is my niece and grew up in a family of basketball players. She was around the game at a very early age. She was always very athletic and excelled at a variety of sports growing up.
 
How long have you been coaching Alex?
Indirectly since 3rd grade as she formally joined our program and played on the 4th grade team. Due to some injuries on our first Firecracker team she filled in as a 7th grader on some weekends. I began coaching her full-time in 8th grade when she played on our 9th grade team.
 
What have you enjoyed most about coaching Alex?
Beyond being family and having the opportunity to see her on a daily basis, I love her competitive spirit. She gets excited to play the game…she enjoys competition…she raises her level of play as the competition gets tougher. With all that being said, I have been tough on her as well. I had the pleasure of coaching my daughter for 12 years. She would say I was harder on her than anyone else. I am sure Alex can say the same thing. Some of it is basketball specific and some of it is being a father figure in her life. I am sure she didn’t always like me…but I know she understands that I love her.
 
Tell me a little bit about Alex as a person off the court?
Alex is one of those kids everyone wants to hang out with. She is laid back and fun to be around. She loves her brothers and is supportive of their activities. She is a good friend to all!
 
What are you most excited about seeing Alex do at the next level?
I think Bryant College got a steal in Alex. She has elite level speed and athleticism and her best basketball is ahead of her. Once she commits to a weight training program and is drilled in basketball/position specific activities, her game will grow tremendously. I am looking forward to having a front row seat to that development. It’s very exciting.
 
Any other thoughts?
Alex played a role on a very talented club team. Over the years her role changed based on the skills and needs of the team. She has been a role player, come off the bench, and been a starter. Through all those experiences, she has done nothing but compete. She never complained or questioned the decision. She is coachable and wants to do whatever she can to help the team have success. As a coach, you can never have enough of those kids – they put team first and leave their ego at the door. As I said, Bryant College will experience this first hand. She can change games with her defense – not many kids can say that. I am looking forward to watching Alex compete in college surrounded by talented players and for her to experience Division I basketball (like her Mom did at UMaine playing for Joanne Palombo McCallie – now the Duke Women’s Basketball Head Coach.) I am proud of Alex and what she has accomplished. I love her like she was my own daughter!

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