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Rafer Alston: from street legend to NBA player to scout

Rafer Alston

Retired point guard Rafer Alston had one of the most meteoric rises from a streetball legend to the NBA ranks.

Now almost a decade into retirement, Alston — AKA Skip to my Lue — is now taking on a new chapter in his life. The 42-year-old now serves as a scout for the Minnesota Timberwolves, scouring the amateur ranks in search of the next big thing.

Alston recently spoke with Jon Krawzcynski of The Athletic and shared how his transition to a basketball scout came natural to him.

“Growing up I always studied basketball. I always was watching the game,” Alston said. “I went outside and worked on my game. When I was a kid, I would go outside and play ball. I made sure my mother taped the game and told about what happened. I always was a student of the game, so playing the point-guard position was natural for me. We had so many point guards we could learn from in our city.”

Alston went on to share what he looks for in his prospects, noting that the mental aspect of the game plays a pivotal part in any player’s development.

“You want to get the best read on their psyche and attitudes when things are going good and bad for ’em,” Alston said. “To me, that’s the intriguing part about it. You’re almost delving into the minds of players.”

Alston played 11 seasons in the NBA for a total of six different teams. He boasts career averages of 10.1 points, 1.5 three-pointers, 2.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.2 steals.