01 February 2016

Bolts First Option Was Alex Stepheson

Alex Stepheson
The Meralco Bolts just signed Malcolm Thomas as their reinforcement in the 2016 Commissioner's Cup which will start on 10 February 2016.

However, before they started to pursue the 27-year old defensive forward, the Bolts were eyeing Alex Stepheson, not Carlos Boozer as reported earlier. What is so special about Stepheson that coach Norman Black wants to consider him first? One answer: rebounds.

Stepheson played high school basketball at Harvard-Westlake School in North Hollywood, California, where he grabbed 20 or more rebounds in 16 games as a senior.

If this is not impressive, then the following highlights should make one one wonder the other PBA teams are not looking seriously at him:
  • Averaged 17.0 points, 14.4 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks as a junior.
  • Led Harvard-Westlake School to a 26–4 mark and California Southern Sectional title in 2005.
  • Averaged 20.4 points and 17.8 rebounds as a senior.
  • Had a five-game streak with 32, 31, 23, 28, and 21 rebounds.
  • Set a single-game school mark with 32 rebounds.
  • Broke the school record for career rebounds in just three seasons (the previous record was held by former Stanford University center and NBA player Jason Collins).
  • Was named the 2006 Fourth-team Parade All-American.
  • Named the Co-MVP of the East All-Stars at the 2006 Roundball Classic in Chicago, after he had 15 points and 9 rebounds.
After he was not selected in the 2011 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-10 forward played professionally in Greece, Slovenia and Turkey. The 28-year-old averaged 12.3 points and a league-leading 9.2 rebounds in 26.8 minutes while shooting 56.3 percent from the field, in 29 games (21 starts) with the Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi.

In late last year, NBA team Memphis Grizzlies announced the team has signed the 240-pound free agent. However, he was waived on 24 October 2015 after appearing in three preseason games.

On 31 October 2016, he was acquired by the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League as an affiliate player of the Grizzlies.

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