Joe Alexander can identify with the Grateful Dead. “What a long, strange trip it’s been” indeed.
On Friday night, Alexander took to the court for the first time, anywhere, in two years. The trip back from a lengthy leg injury ended last night when he put on a Santa Cruz Warriors D-League jersey. He had surgery on his left leg about a year ago, and had a rod placed in his shin.
The Warriors fell to the visiting Reno Bighorns 100-96 despite the energy Alexander brought to the court. He played at total of 15 minutes after coming into the game late in the first quarter. He finished with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.
After the game, a happy Alexander was grateful to be able to play the game he loves professionally once again.
“Incredible. Incredible. I don’t know how to explain it,” Alexander said. “It’s been like hell, basically. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to play again when I came back. So it’s good to get my first basket and be a little bit productive.
“I shot the ball pretty bad, but that’s going to happen,” Alexander said of going 3 for 9 shooting. “My feet felt good. My legs felt good. I rebounded the ball well. The game felt slow, so to me, not too rusty.”
Alexander and the Warriors return to the court on Saturday night to face the Bakersfield Jam.