CINCINNATI – Unsurprisingly, a spotlight accompanied Purcell Marian High School first-year winger Dee Alexander onto the basketball court this summer.
Weeks before Alexander started his high school classes on August 18, the 14-year-old has 18 college scholarship offers and excelled playing three higher levels in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) competition.
“I think she’s one of those kids that you’ll have the chance to see once in a lifetime,” Purcell Marian women’s basketball coach Jamar Mosley said. “Like, she’s a once-in-a-lifetime type of kid. People always ask me if she’s the best player I’ve coached so far. I’ve ever coached.”
West Virginia Thunder, 17-and-under AUA coach Scott Johnson said the 6-foot-1 Alexander would likely be ranked as the nation’s No.1 player in the 2025 class by multiple services from screening.
“When I talk to college coaches and what they say – high-profile coaches – they say she’s a once-in-a-decade player,” Johnson said. “Not a once-a-year player. She’s a once-a-decade player, and I totally agree.”
Johnson estimates he has coached around 100 NCAA Division I players in his 15 years of training. Alexander is on an elite list.
“There are different types of players, obviously, but I’ve never seen anyone at this age be as dominant as (former Princeton High School All-American) Kelsey Mitchell,” Johnson said. “Now she and Kelsey are two different styles of playing, but that’s how dominant she is.”
Alexander’s talent is evident, but his selfless, team-oriented mentality is equally impressive.
“She is the most special child I have ever had and probably ever will have,” Johnson said. “She’s the No. 1 player in this class, and it’s not for nothing. She can score the ball in different ways. She passes the ball really well. She defends. She’s long. She’s special.”
Alexander has scholarship offers which include University of Cincinnati, Louisville, Ohio State, West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Penn State and Mississippi State, according to Mosley.
Despite all the attention, Alexander continued to focus on ways she can improve on the court and get stronger using the weight room.
She has gained the confidence to shoot the ball more and wants to continue improving in all aspects of the game.
“I love everything about it,” Alexander said. “I grew up watching basketball videos and most of the time when I watched them that’s how I learned the new things I know now.”
Alexander, who lives in Hartwell, has been playing basketball since he was six or seven.
Off the court, she enjoys being with her family and friends. She plays soccer in the fall. Math is his favorite subject and LeBron James is his favorite NBA player.
Alexander’s desire for success is evident in life.
“She wants to be the best,” Johnson said. “She wants to be great. She doesn’t want to lose. She’s going to be successful in life, whether it’s with basketball or without, because she’s a good person.”
Alexander has maturity beyond his years, Mosley said.
That was the case in June when Purcell Marian led Pickerington Central by 17 points in a summer competition. The Tigers were physical and focused on Alexander, but she didn’t back down and moved on to the next game.
“She’s got a target on her back,” Mosley said. “People ask, ‘Who is this girl? She plays three higher levels. She just had 22 points in the last game. Here she is passing the ball as if she had always played. So people kind of put a target on her back, and she doesn’t let anything shake it.
That balance will be important this winter for a Purcell Marian team that was a Division III semi-finalist in March. Alexander is one of six freshmen who will likely play this season.
“My team, I really like them,” said Alexander. “We get along. Most of us knew each other as AAU playing together or knowing each other on the same teams.
“It’s a bunch of young girls on the team so we’ll be playing together for a while and our chemistry that we have right now is actually very good, so I feel like it’s going to be a good year to start. the season. “