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17 February, 2020
23 February, 2021
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Hard work pays off for Julian Alexander Chalias on path to prove Indonesia can ball

JAKARTA (Indonesia) - Whether it's earning a direct spot to play at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 where they will be hosts or qualifying for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 and everything in between, Indonesia’s national team program has plenty of tall tasks to tackle in the upcoming future near and far.

“The first thing [that happened] was that my heart just dropped. I felt that all of the hard work I had put in these past few months was starting to pay off and that people are starting to see what I’m capable of.” - Julian Alexander Chalias about his feelings when he got the National Team call-up

This means that Indonesia not only have to maximize the playing level of their current stars, they also have to begin preparing their expected stars of tomorrow to be ready as well.

That is exactly what Indonesia did when they listed 18-year-old Julian Alexander Chalias as one of the 14 players to participate in a recent national team training camp.

Indonesia 14-player roster for training camp

Brandon Van Dorn Jawato

Laurentius Steven Oei

Kevin Yonas Argadiba Sitorus

Jamarr Andre Johnson

Yudha Saputera

Kelvin Sanjaya

Julian Alexander Chalias

Abraham Damar Grahita

Vincent Rivaldi Kosasih

Arki Dikania Wisnu

Hardianus Lakudu

Andakara Prastawa Dhyaksa

Derrick Michael Xzavierro

Agassi Yeshe Goantara




"When I first heard about being called from national team, it was actually from my private coach, Jamond, who congratulated me for making the list," Chalias revealed. "I was like ‘What do you mean'?

"Later that day, the manager from the national team sent me an email saying that I was called to come and participate in the training camp."

"The first thing [that happened] was that my heart just dropped. I felt that all of the hard work I had put in these past few months was starting to pay off and that people are starting to see what I’m capable of."

"At first, I was completely stressed out because this was a huge opportunity and I had to prove myself. One piece of advice I received was that there's a reason I was chosen and that meant I had to believe in myself."

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Unlike Arki Wisnu or Abraham Damar Grahita who are established stars in the country, Chalias is not yet a household name… yet. However, the youngster has shined in high school competitions and will command the attention of fans once he proceeds to the next phase in his career abroad.

"In December 2019, I went to France to try out for some teams in the south like the Tony Parker Adéquat Academy and Croix D’argent Basket Montpelier," the teenager, who is of French heritage from his grandfather, revealed.

"I decided to join the U-20 team in Montpellier playing in the Espoir division."

"I'm really looking forward to playing basketball the European way and to improve my skills."

Chalias is still a work in progress. There are still plenty of areas in his game which he’s still trying to be more comfortable with, but his potential is enticing. It’s also encouraging how hungry the youngster is to improve his game.

"In Indonesia I’ve always played as a center, but these past few months of training and playing with Brandon [Jawato] and Mon, I've been trying to improve my skills as a guard and my shooting. I don't really pay attention about my style of play but I like to watch a lot of Carmelo Anthony‘s practices and foot work to improve my mid-range game. Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of clips from Chris Paul to improve my ball fakes, jabs and hesitation moves."

Chalias has always known that he never wants to work in an office. So a couple of years after he started playing basketball at the age of 13, he knew that he wanted to make basketball his life and to pursue a career oriented around basketball.

He knows it won’t be a cake walk, as he has experienced in this training camp, but Chalias is determined to put in the effort to make it happen.

"As a rookie I knew that everything was going be hard for me," Chalias said of his training camp experience. "I had to put in extra work and work harder than the veterans to earn my spot on the team. I had to prove myself that it wasn't a mistake for me to be here by also being one of the youngest players and a new player in the national team."

It was also fortunate for Chalias that he has had a mentor figure even before the training camp which has helped him absorb in as much from the experience as possible. You can see through his social media posts that he spends plenty of time with veteran Brandon Jawato and the two have clicked ever since.

"Brandon and I have really bonded these past few months because we've been stuck in Bali, training together, and playing together. He’s like a big brother to me," Chalias said. "One thing that I’ve picked up from him is his work ethic. He puts in so much extra work behind the scenes. He's always full of energy and tries to put in as much as he can during practice, but I've also found out that he’s one of the most down-to-earth and humble people once you actually sit down and get close to him."

"We both know our goals and what it takes to reach them."

Chalias is just one of several up-and-coming bright talents called up to participate in this national team training camp. This group of promising prospects includes Derrick Michael Xzavierro and Agassi Yeshe Goantara, who have both already made senior national team debuts.

"Agassi, Derrick, and Yudha [Saputera] and I did well during the practices," Chalias said. “Derrick and I, specifically, are really good friends. We all have this responsibility on our shoulders, being the new generation of basketball players in the national team and we need to prove ourselves that we’re better than the players that came before us."

"For that to happen, we need to work as hard as possible these next few months."

That will be a defining period, not only for this hopeful batch of players, but for Indonesia basketball as a whole.

Though Indonesia will be co-hosting the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, they have not yet been given a direct spot to play. The requirement has been set for Indonesia to finish at least among the top 8 teams at FIBA Asia Cup 2021 to claim their World Cup seat. The progress that each player in the program makes over the upcoming months is therefore highly crucial.

Chalias understands this urgency, as does everyone else involved, and is confident that the team will be able to succeed.

"Indonesia has a huge opportunity to prove itself to the world that we can ball," he said. "And that’s the process to come these next few months. But I believe in my teammates and the coaching staff. Even though we have a lot of things to work on and fix, we actually have one-of-a-kind chance of qualifying directly for the World Cup."

While the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 might still seem like a distance away for others, it probably feels like it’s right around the corner for Indonesia.

With Julian Alexander Chalias as one of the key pieces of the program, “The Future is Now” might ring as true as ever for Indonesia basketball as of this moment.