Athlete of the Issue: Alec Kotler, Latin Down by Two, Ten Seconds Remaining

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Jack Tempone “Basketball isn’t a game; It’s an art form. You master the fundamentals so you can forget ’em, so you can improvise and just concentrate on what really matters: getting buckets.”

—Kyrie Irving

The clock is ticking down at DePaul. The Romans are down by two—nine, eight, seven. Alec Kotler ‘18  finds the ball in his hands—six, five, four— and sizes up his defender. “There was a designed offense but not a specific play,” said Kotler, when asked if there was a set play for the final seconds. Alec has spent endless hours in the gym after school and on weekends, working on his game. The shot he is about to take has become the easy part. If you practice at an intense enough level, games become the easiest part. Kotler has been playing basketball at a highly competitive level since the second grade. Ever since, the only other sport he has played has been baseball. Considering how electric Kotler is on the basketball court, it is hard to imagine that he brings the same energy to the baseball diamond. But he does. After elementary school and middle school, Kotler’s main focus has been baseball.   No matter the sport, Kotler still gets “fired up” when there are more people in the crowd to watch him play. Whenever Koter is playing U-High or Parker, the fierce rivalry pushes him to play to his full potential. I asked Kotler if he loved playing against any certain players. “Nope, I hate all my opponents,” he responded. If that isn’t a classic Alec Kotler line, I don’t know what is. Teammate of two years Ysrael Hernandez ‘19 describes Kotler as “unique” and a positive presence. “The way he laughs is so different and always gets the other guys cracking up,” said Hernandez. Kotler’s laugh and ability to bring out the best in others is a common thread amongst his friends. Lauren Salzman ‘18, a close friend of Alec, echoed Hernandez. “I would say he’s very dedicated and brings a smile to everything he does. He always knows how to make you laugh,” said Salzman.   When I asked Kotler who he admires, or who he tries to play like, he responded with Kyrie Irving. I then connected the dots. Irving was, needless to say, unbelievably clutch in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. He led his Cavs back from a 3-1 deficit. With time running down— 3, 2— Kotler throws up a three pointer. Swish. Kotler celebrates by running down the court. The crowd goes insane.]]>