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Alex Marzette hopes long road that’s taken him around the world leads to NBA

Alex Marzette rises up for the dunk while playing with Euro Nickel in Macedonia. (Courtesy: Alex Marzette)

RACINE, Wis. (BVM) — Alex Marzette has always loved sports and has been good at them. In high school at J.I. Case in Racine, Wis., he lettered in both track and basketball. His senior year, he was named All-Southeast Conference.

“I always believed that my life would revolve around sports, but I didn’t know where it would translate,” Marzette said.

Heading into college, Marzette knew he would have to make a transition from the five positions he had played in high school to a wing player at the next level. With some Division III offers and junior colleges interested in him, Marzette went to a work out for College of Lake County (Grayslake, Ill.), an NJCAA Division II school.

“I almost did not go, but I ended up going and I met a trainer out there that trained professionals,” Marzette said. “After the workout he told me, ‘If you want to make it to the professional level come work with me,’ and that’s what I did.”

From that initial meeting, Marzette continued training and after his freshman year at Lake County he was fourth in the nation in shooting percentage. The following year, he played at Volunteer State Community College (Gallatin, Tenn.), another NJCAA Division II program.

Marzette was climbing the ladder of college basketball and following a junior season at NCAA Division II University of Southern Indiana, the next step should have been Division I. However, a move that would look to be a step back allowed Marzette to flourish.

“I went to Robert Morris and really excelled,” Marzette said.

Robert Morris University (Chicago) is an NAIA Division II school, but that didn’t matter to Marzette. As an Eagle, he led the team in points (18.1), rebounds (7.3) and blocks (2.28) per game. He set an RMU single-game record for blocks with nine, was named first team all-conference in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and was an NAIA honorable mention All-American.

“From there I went straight to the (2015) NBA pre-draft workouts,” Marzette said. “It was exciting and it was also tough. I would say it was exciting being in the gym seeing Jason Kidd on the sideline literally watching with the whole front office of the Milwaukee Bucks.”

Marzette worked out with a few other NBA teams, earning an opportunity to try out for the Erie Bayhawks, a G-League team. Following his workout, teams expressed interest but wanted to see more of Marzette.

“That’s when they told me, ‘based on your resume you need to go overseas and play so we can watch you,’” Marzette said, “and to their credit they have been. The Milwaukee Bucks have been watching me overseas. I’ve stayed in contact with them.”

That contact led to a four-game stint with the Wisconsin Herd during the 2017-18 season. The short time in the G-League has not deterred Marzette from his goal and it doesn’t take away from what he has done in his career. Since 2016, Marzette has played on three different continents and in five different countries: Portugal, Finland, Serbia, North Macedonia, Australia and the U.S.

“Traveling the world there is nothing better,” Marzette said. “I absolutely love it. There’s nothing better to me than someone from another country supporting you like they do here at home. I embrace the language. Everywhere I go I try to learn the language.”

Through all of his experiences, Marzette has learned the power of hard work and perseverance. He’s slowly climbed from one level to the next since college to get to his final destination.

“I’m staying confident,” Marzette said. “I feel like one day I’ll break through and get in there somewhere. It just takes time, time and luck. The opportunity will present itself soon, I believe it. I’ve been working towards it and I’m not going to stop until I get there.”

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