Q&A With Trick Shot King And Ghost Ballers’ Player Alex Scales
By Oliver Maroney January 31, 2020
We sat down with the former University of Oregon and professional overseas player to discuss how he got into the sport, why he joined the BIG3 and the story behind his many trick shot videos.
Q: First of all, I have to ask, how’d this whole trick shot phenomenon happen?
A: It really started when I was working in the gym. I started riding on a hoverboard and I shot a 3-pointer while riding it and made it. My friend asked me to repeat it and said I couldn’t do it. So I rode the hoverboard, shot the shot and I made it again. That’s probably when I knew I had something. For about three-and-a-half years every Tuesday, I would try and beat what I did the last week. Every week I kept telling myself “I can’t beat that,” and then I always found a way to beat it. As I progressed, everyone started giving me new ideas and it’s just been fun to do. I still do it because it shows kids even though things are difficult, they can still be done. To find a way to get it done. If you put in the time, you can achieve great things.
Q: You really made a name for yourself at University of Oregon. Why’d you attend University of Oregon?
A: Ernie Kent came out to Chicago for this pro-am, we stayed in touch and ultimately I just felt like it was the best place for me. But, what’s funny is Dana Altman, the current Oregon coach, was also trying to recruit me at his previous school Creighton. Oregon really put me on the map as a player, I competed against other BIG3 guys like Scalabrine and we had some great battles.
Q: You played all over the world, is there one spot that really stands out?
A: Every place was unique. Italy was my first spot, but I was going through a rough time and ended up having surgery in my first year as a pro. Even through the tough times, I’ve loved every city I have been to.
Q: How’d you get involved in basketball to begin with?
A: I would have to say my father. He put me on and I made it known. Growing up, it wasn’t hard to get into the sport because on my block it seemed like everyone hooped.
Q: What has it meant to be able to do the thing you love as a profession?
A: All the hard work paid off when I was younger. It’s a blessing, I tell you. Not everyone gets this opportunity to be able to do something they love.
Q: Who introduced you to BIG3?
A: I’m a fan of basketball. So when I heard it being announced in it’s first year, I was interested. When they opened it up to have European and overseas professionals, I asked my friend Mike Bibby what I needed to do to tryout. He connected the dots for me and the rest is history.
Q: What do you think of the league and the upcoming changes that were announced for season 4?
A: I think the BIG3 is great. It’s a great league and it gives you a chance to be back on a stage for guys who had dreams of getting drafted or guys who still play ball at an extremely high, professional level. It’s a great platform.
Q: Personally, what are some of your favorite moments in the BIG3 last season?
A: I remember our team had half-court shooting contests after practice. I think I won like five or six out of the eight practices. I put my trick-shot skills to work! (laughs)
Q: What is your goal in life now?
A: To be the best version of me and be the best father I can be by teaching, motiving and loving. I want to give back. I want to help people reach their goals and motivate them to be the best they can be. ASIB (a star is born) as I say. It doesn’t matter if you’re a garbage man, mailman or journalist, if you enjoy it and are happy with it, you’re a star in your own eyes.
Q: Are you going to continue to play in the BIG3 next season?
A: God willing and if my body can hold up! But you know how it goes. I can go through the combine, but someone still has to draft me (laughs). If it works out, I would love to be apart of this season. I had a great time playing and meeting new faces, that’s what it’s all about.