Alex Wade Chooses Notre Dame Walk-On Spot Over Division I Offers
When 2021 San Diego Cathedral Catholic point guard Alex Wade announced his commitment to Notre Dame on Jan. 18, it came as a bit of a surprise. The announcement, which Wade made through Twitter, left many people wondering where he came from and how it all came about.
That was nothing new to the California point guard, however, as he has faced questions throughout his basketball career.
“Alex has always been the kind of player that does whatever it takes to win,” said Wade’s father, Steve. “He is kind of a throwback guard in that way. Alex is a tough on-ball defender and makes the right reads. He can hit big shots and is a true point guard.”
Steve coached Alex for nearly a decade and played college basketball at Penn, where he was a guard for the Quakers during the 1989-90 season. He helped his son through the recruiting process, always encouraging him to work harder and letting him know that everything would fall into place if he did. Earning a spot on the Notre Dame men’s basketball team certainly qualifies as a payoff.
“The big thing for me was that Notre Dame has the ACC basketball and the education level is unmatched,” Wade said. “I have played a high level of basketball my entire life and I really wanted to continue to do that. Notre Dame is a great fit for me.”
Choosing to come to Notre Dame as a preferred walk-on over offers from Air Force, UC Santa Barbara and Hawaii seems peculiar at first glance. Wade is not concerned with his title at Notre Dame, but rather is determined to show he belongs.
“I took the preferred walk-on spot, but that is not what I am worried about,” Wade stated. “I am worried about getting in there and competing. My title does not matter to me, I will go into Notre Dame and work as hard as I can, everything else will take care of itself.”
On film, Wade is a facilitator who looks to make the extra pass and has strong court vision. He has a jump shot with range and can finish at the rim through contact.
“I have always felt like my game is underrated and undervalued,” Wade said. “I am not flashy like some other guys. My entire focus is winning and making my teammates better. I am a player that can help win games.”
COVID-19 greatly impacted Wade and his recruitment. He had plans to travel around the country once again with his AAU team, Dream Vision, to continue to be noticed by programs and hopefully land more offers. The pandemic made that difficult, but the Notre Dame staff took notice of Wade’s talent and reached out to him just a few months ago.
“The contact started back in November, I believe the coaches got in touch with me through Dream Vision,” Wade explained. “I was talking to Coach [Ryan] Humphrey and Coach [Mike] Brey quite a bit over the past couple of months. I talked to Coach [Scott] Martin as well but it really heated up recently.”
Wade received the call from Brey on Jan. 18, confirming his spot on the team. Brey was searching for another guard in the 2021 class and found it without burning a scholarship. The Irish will have two walk-ons as members of next year's roster: Wade and current sophomore guard Elijah Morgan. Like Wade, Morgan had mid-major offers but chose Notre Dame anyway.
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