There’s something special about “Pirate Nation.”
Seton Hall Prep has a well versed history of producing high quality teams and players. Notice that I mentioned “team” first. Being apart of something bigger than yourself is something that kids at this school hold in high regard. It’s takes a selfless type of kid to be apart of the Seton Hall Prep family.
Alex Imegwu is what “pirate nation” is all about.
The senior forward is a great kid who thinks big picture all the time. Throughout the interview, he always found a way to circle his answers back to the team, his coach and winning. One would think this kid is deflecting to hide something, but near the end of the talk you can tell this is a team first kid. With that being said, one thing you can’t sweep under the rug is dynamic skill set. Alex can do it all. He’s a hybrid wing player that can defend multiple positions with ease. Offensively, Imegwu is a well rounded player that doesn’t force anything. The sensational senior can play above the rim whenever he likes, but he is known for his jump shooting this year. This kid is STRAPPED.
Recently we sat down with Alex to discuss “the big three,” his college recruiting, pirate nation and more.
By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop
TheDribbleDrop: Let's talk about this off season. This spring/ summer, you played AAU basketball for The Jersey Force, was that experience?
Alex Imegwu: It was a great experience. We played in a lot of tournaments. A lot of Hoop Group stuff. We played against a lot of great competition. After the season ended I dedicated a lot of time to developing my ball handling and shooting. I also wanted to get a lot stronger. As one of the bigger kids on my team I knew I would have to guard bigger players at times. Putting all that time in has made me a lot more confident and composed in tough moments on the floor.
TheDribbleDrop: So your sophomore year you were a part of a T.J. Gibbs led team that made a deep postseason run. Last year had its fair share of ups and downs. Reflecting on both years, what have you learned from both experiences that have allowed you perform at a high level this year.
Alex Imegwu: My experience at Seton Hall Prep has been great. My sophomore year I was new to the team as I transferred from Gil St. Bernards. I was playing some big minutes but I suffered a wrist injury.
One thing I observed early on when I got to the program was the leadership of T.J. Gibbs. Last year losing a leader like that hurt the team a bit. We worked hard to figure it out as a group. It took us awhile but we learned a lot. I feel like everything we went through last year has led to our success this year. We learned from our mistakes. Everyday we bring that focus and intensity. It starts in practice.
TheDribbleDrop:How would you describe Seton Hall Prep basketball?
Alex Imegwu: Detailed. We spend a lot of time focusing on the little details on our offense to make sure we can execute. Defensively we focus on a lot of situational basketball in the shell so that we execute our rotations on the fly well. It’s all about the details.
TheDribbleDrop: You guys have one of the most intense student sections in New Jersey. I think the energy they bring makes Seton Hall Prep one of the hardest places to win on the road. Tell me about the environment during your home games
Alex Imegwu: So our student section is called “Pirate Nation.” They go all out for us. It’s all or nothing for them. When we have a home game and we see them there we know what time it is. We get in the zone immediately. It puts us in a mindset. When they are there we kill. They keep us focused and it’s important to us to put on a show for them.
TheDribbleDrop: So you play for one of the best coaches in the state in Coach Kevin Williams. Tell me about your experience with him.
Alex Imegwu: So it’s been great playing for coach Williams. He’s been here for awhile. He was an assistant for coach Farrell and then he took over the program. He knows what it takes to win and his experience is key to our success. He gets the best out of the team in any situation.
Personally, he’s played a big part in my growth. He helped me gain confidence as a player.
TheDribbleDrop: You combine with Jabri Abdur-Rahim and Ashton Miller to provide one of the best trios in the state. With that being said, there’s only one ball. How do you guys make it work?
Alex Imegwu: Well I would say our best games are when we have the ball moving a lot. We have a lot of skilled players on the team. I think the fact that we trust each other so much is key to our success. I also think it’s important to highlight the other players on our team and our bench. They are key to our success as well. When the ball isn’t in our hands, they do a great job of making the offense run smoothly. They hit us in the right spots on the floor. Defensively, I think the three of us are pretty special as well as we can all defend multiple positions. It’s great playing with these talented players.
TheDribbleDrop: Today you played in the Dan Finn Classic versus St. Peter's Prep. Describe the pace of the game and how you guys played.
Alex Imegwu: Anytime we play St. Peter’s Prep is a huge game for us. We are the two preps in New Jersey and we’re playing for bragging rights. We know it’s going to be a fight all game long. Mentally I think we were very prepared for this one as we knew we were going to face a tough team. It’s one of our main rivalries and I think it’s one of the biggest rivalries in the state.
TheDribbleDrop: Right now you are uncommitted. Tell us what you are looking for from a college.
Alex Imegwu: I’m looking for a great academic school. A place where I can come in and make an impact. A place where I can come in and play early. I’m also big on the relationship I will have with the coach.
TheDribbleDrop: How do you gauge success at Seton hall Prep?
Alex Imegwu: I would say wins but you also learn a lot from tough losses. We have a lot of tough teams in our conference and there aren’t a lot of blow out games. You learn a lot from those type of games. We are constantly evaluating ourselves and looking to get better.