09 - 15
June 2024
14/06/2024
News
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Alex Mclean looking forward to exposure, opportunities for BCL Asia standouts

DUBAI (UAE) - Basketball has taken Alex Mclean around the world.

Now even as a player development coach with the Washington Wizards, he's still traveling the globe, recently coming from stops in Jordan and Zimbabwe before landing courtside with Sam Daghlas and Rui Hachimura at Basketball Champions League Asia (BCL Asia) 2024.

 

As a professional player, he was just as well-travelled and that's why he loves the atmosphere at the Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Sports Hall in Dubai.

"I love it," said Mclean. "I spent a lot of time in this region as a player and I’m back as a coach. I think just having exposure and being able to put teams from all over the region together allows people to get eyes on talents that may go unseen in the region."

Fans of West Asia basketball might not have known too well how good of a shooter is Toshiki Kamisawa of the Japanese B.LEAGUE champions Hiroshima Dragonflies. Likewise, fans of basketball in East Asia might know how big of a star Wael Arakji is, but seeing him shine in an Al Riyadi jersey can be a whole new experience.

For Mclean, that's what he sees in the kind of spotlight that BCL Asia shines on the players who are putting in the effort to succeed in this competition.

"The prestige is big and especially with BCL Asia being an up-and-coming competition, I think there’s so much more talent whether it’s in the Philippines and China and Malaysia and Japan as each team enters this kind of realm and region. There's going to be more exposure and hopefully, it will lead guys to get more opportunities."

The 2.03M (6'8") forward should know well, especially about some of those countries he mentioned. He's played in the Philippines for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. He's played in China for the Sichuan Blue Whales. He's played in Argentina, Poland, Paraguay, Egypt, Iraq, and Qatar.

And, he's played in Lebanon as well, which is why he was smiling while watching Al Riyadi play well in their way to sweeping the Group Phase.

"I'm super excited, I'm seeing a lot of guys that I've played with and familiar faces so I'm excited and can't wait to come back for the Semi-Finals."

It might be a bit of a bittersweet moment for Mclean, as in his playing days, he had suited up for Riyadi archrivals Sagesse (as well as Homenetmen and Zahle). But now that's he on the other side of those solid lines of the court, he's just happy to root for some former teammates and friends.

"Personally, I'm going for Riyadi," said Mclean when asked about his BCL Asia 2024 favorites. "I spent a lot of time there so my heart is with Lebanon but I’m looking forward to seeing good competition."

FIBA