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Alex Len Wikipedia

Alex Len

Олексій Лень
No. 21 – Phoenix Suns
Personal information
Born(1993-06-16) June 16, 1993 (age 20)

Antratsyt, Ukraine
Listed height7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)
Listed weight255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High schoolDnipropetrovsk Higher College

(Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine)
CollegeMaryland (2011–2013)
NBA draft2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Phoenix Suns
Pro playing career2010–present
Career history
2010–2011BC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine)
2013–presentPhoenix Suns
Stats at
Oleksiy "Alex" Len (Ukrainian: Олексій Лень; born June 16, 1993) is a Ukrainian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Before being drafted, he played two seasons for the Maryland Terrapins of the Atlantic Coast Conference, as well as a season with BC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in his home nation's professional basketball league.


      Early life

      Len was born in Antratsyt, Luhansk, Ukraine to parents of miners. In his youth, Len originally participated in gymnastics due to his love of watching Jackie Chan films back when he was 10. He also played chess during his youth and continues to play the game as a hobby. During his time training in gymnastics, Len was trained by Alexei Stepanenko, who had also trained Olympic gold medalist Ihor Korobchynskyi. He started playing basketball at the age of 13 by request of his school's basketball coach (Mikhail Nikolayevich Lysovolenka) and attended Dnipropetrovsk Higher College in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. In addition to playing for Ukraine in the 2009 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship, he was also a standout for the Ukraine national team at the 2010 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship. His performance during the latter tournament had him being the 4th best overall scorer, second best rebounder, and the best shot blocker over his competitors.

      University of Maryland

      He was the recipient of an athletic scholarship from the University of Maryland coach Gary Williams, but Williams resigned after the 2010-11 season, leading to Mark Turgeon to take his place. While Williams began recruiting Len, it was Turgeon who eventually lured him to Maryland. Len underachieved in his freshman year, averaging 6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 2.1 BPG, but showed lottery pick potential after serving a ten game suspension at the beginning of the year due to NCAA amateurism issues resulting from his play with BC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, a European club team from his home nation.

      Len opened his sophomore season on November 9, 2012 against the reigning champion Kentucky Wildcats, led by ESPN's #1 player of the 2012 recruiting class, Nerlens Noel. The game was played at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Len overpowered Noel throughout the entire game, scoring 23 points with 12 rebounds and 4 blocks, while holding Noel to 4 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks, although Kentucky won the game 72-69. Following the game, there was talk that Len could potentially be a top 5 pick in the upcoming draft. On January 16, 2013, Len ended up scoring 10 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, including a game-winning shot with 0.9 seconds in the game, to get a 51-50 upset over #14 North Carolina State. On February 16, 2013, Len again played a starring role, leading Maryland to an 83-81 upset victory over the top ranked Duke Blue Devils. Len put up 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks, while holding Duke star senior Mason Plumlee to 4 points.

      College statistics


      Professional career

      2013 NBA Draft

      On April 14, 2013, Len decided to declare for the 2013 NBA Draft. He was projected to land in the lottery, with some experts projecting Len as the #1 overall pick. On May 3, 2013, Len ended up getting surgery on his left ankle that resulted in him being out for around 4-6 months. He was selected 5th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2013 NBA draft. Len would be the second international-born player to be selected in that draft, behind the first overall selection in Canadian-born Anthony Bennett, as well as the highest Ukrainian-born player to be drafted in the NBA. He was also the first Phoenix Suns player to be taken in the Top 5 of an NBA draft since Armen Gilliam in 1987. Len was also the highest drafted player to have been born in Ukraine, which was a record previously held by Vitaly Potapenko in 1996.

      Phoenix Suns (2013–present)

      Due to his ankle surgeries, he would not participate with fellow rookies Archie Goodwin and Alex Oriakhi, as well as some of their 2nd and 3rd year NBA players and undrafted players, in the Phoenix Suns' Summer League team. Len decided to wear the number 21 for the Suns as a means of honoring Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan (who both wore 21 during their careers) since he saw them as his favorite players. On July 12, 2013, Len also had surgery on his right ankle due to a stress fracture. He was officially signed by the Suns on August 29, 2013, and was cleared to practice with them by early September.
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