It’s hard to not be impressed by Alex Sarr.
At just 17 years old, Sarr displays a maturity well beyond his years. He speaks three languages and is a world traveler who spent much of the past summer in France, Senegal and Spain before returning to the US. Oh, he’s probably the greatest basketball prospects on the planet, too.
Sarr, a native of Toulouse, France, is back in Atlanta for his second season with Additional time Elite (OTE), the groundbreaking league that is providing a recent pathway for the world’s most talented young basketball players to realize their dreams as pros. With Yr 2 on the horizon, The Sporting News caught up with the 17-year-old, who basketball fans should make some extent to develop into acquainted with sooner quite than later.
For starters, Sarr stands at 7-foot-1 and is listed as a middle, but even a temporary have a look at his highlights will show you that on this era of positionless basketball, he does far an excessive amount of to be certain by one position.
What number of 7 footers are doing this?
Alex Sarr is SPECIAL 💫 pic.twitter.com/ffhYNkDlqD
— Additional time Elite (@OvertimeElite) August 22, 2022
As unique as he’s, Sarr takes an understated approach when asked to explain his game, saying that “I just attempt to do what it takes for my team to win, like attempt to block shots, hit 3s, attack closeouts, make good reads. Just play basketball.”
On one hand, it is so simple as just playing basketball, but if you’re talking a few high-IQ 7-footer who can shoot, handle the ball and protect the rim, that describes a particularly high level of play.
“I feel like OTE has helped me develop my perimeter game,” Sarr said of his evolution into the player he’s today. “We’ve a number of skill coaches over here and we train really hard. I feel like my game has really grown from Yr 1 to now.”
With all of the tools Sarr has, it’s his mentality and approach have allowed him to benefit from what OTE has to supply. When asked about individual goals for the upcoming season, he didn’t list a particular individual accomplishment or achievement but as a substitute said that “I’m just seeking to enjoy every moment — every practice, benefit from the grind. I just attempt to recuperate day by day, recuperate at what I do and luxuriate in my time here with my teammates.”
Sarr’s perspective is smart given the wealthy basketball pedigree in his family. If you happen to recognize the name, it’s because Alex’s older brother, Olivier, played collegiately for 3 years at Wake Forest, spent one 12 months at Kentucky and recently inked a two-way take care of the Trail Blazers.
“He has a big effect on me — he gives me a number of advice,” Alex said of his older brother. “After a game, he’ll tell me what I did well and what I want to enhance on. If I had a foul game, he’ll tell me what I did improper and that I want to get up sometimes.”
As with all duo of basketball-playing brothers, it was only right I investigate who wins the one-on-one battles.
“We play sometimes. I never got him completely, but I got a few games,” a smiling Sarr said before clarifying that “[Olivier’s] still winning for the moment.”
Sibling banter aside, the invaluable guidance that Sarr receives from his older brother is a key a part of the basketball journey that spans multiple countries, taking him closer to his ultimate goals as a player.
While he’s seeking to benefit from the grind within the short term, Sarr got a bit more specific relating to the large picture he envisions.
“I’m just attempting to be the most effective version of myself, attempting to play at the best level in fact — trying to succeed in the NBA and have the opportunity to play with my brother for multiple years and be the most effective within the league.”
As impressive as he’s on and off the ground, he’s definitely on the correct path.
Note: This interview has been barely edited for length and clarity.