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TIGER LEADER

Alex Micic was in seventh grade when his team, the Lutheran School of Flushing & Bayside Tigers, lost the championship basketball game in March 2010. Now, as he gears up for the new season, Micic’s role is clear – leader of a young and hungry team of Tigers.
The 13-year-old power forward was named team captain by Coach Stephen Singh for the 2010/2011 season, a responsibility that the kid from Flushing wants to prove he deserves.
“There’s a sense of responsibility that comes along with being the captain – and I want that responsibility,” said Micic. “Coach Singh knows that I have the skills to lead the team and I want to prove him right by communicating with my teammates and leading through a successful season.”
Losing the championship game was disappointing to Micic and the rest of the team. In that game, they were outworked and out hustled by a bigger, quicker team from the Bronx. Micic expects the entire team to take the lessons from that loss and apply them to their preparation and practices.
“Losing in the championship game didn’t feel good at all. It was rough because we got so far and we couldn’t finish the job,” he said. “It was a proud moment for all of us just to get there, but in the end it was disappointing. But we took a lot from that game that we can use this year.”
Lessons from a second place finish are all well and good, but what makes Micic the perfect leader, according to his coach, are the years that he spent player for a winless Tiger team.
Micic first joined the team when he was in sixth grade. Back then, the Tigers were at the bottom of the league – in fact, they were so bad one year that their coach did not want to enter them into the league.
“Alex has been with the Tigers the longest and remembers the team from when we were awful, back when we couldn’t win a single game all season,” said Singh. “Now he has the best character on the team by far. He’s not necessarily the most talented player on the team, but he is the leader.”
He might not be the most talented player on the court, but he is one of the most talented minds at the school. Micic is fully engrossed in his school’s science program and wants to use the knowledge he is gaining to become a doctor. He certainly has the pedigree for it – his father is a doctor, his mother was a nurse and his sister is currently studying to be a nurse.
“Science is great because there’s just so much to it. It makes me think about what life is all about,” he said. “Science will help me become a doctor, but so will my family because they’ve been through it and they understand what it takes.”
Besides having the knowledge to assist him in becoming a doctor, Micic’s father was instrumental in fostering his love of basketball, as well. Lou, his dad, taught him the basics of the game on the basketball courts of Flushing. That is where he started to develop the skills necessary to even consider joining Singh’s basketball team.
He first found out that Lutheran had a basketball team when he was in the fourth grade – however, he couldn’t join until the sixth grade. He was intrigued by the team play, as well as the physical benefits of the sport.
“It keeps me active and healthy. I’m a lot slimmer since I started playing,” he said. “Really, it just gives me something to do after school.”
Micic is able to play basketball after school because his grades haven’t slipped since he joined the team. Low grades can destroy a kid’s chances of playing on the school’s basketball team. That is something that Micic’s parents, and his coach, remind him of everyday.
“Alex has achieved a balance between academics and athletics and I believe that’s a direct result of his parents,” said Singh. “The balance has to be reinforced at home. Also, the kids know that if their grades don’t cut it, they’re not going to play. School comes first – that’s it.”

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