#5 Alex Grande is a current Captain of the California Santa Cruz Slugs. He made Nationals as a freshman but was unable to lace up his cleats due to a broken arm. If you need someone to talk new music with, he might just be your man in Boulder.
Introduction to Ultimate
I first started playing ultimate in high school with friends. It got fairly competitive but at the same time, it was essentially PE ultimate. When I first came to UCSC, I had no idea that they had a team and had no idea how big college ultimate was. I was excited, surprised and I knew I was definitely going to play for the Slugs.
Sports background and how what you learned transitioned into Ultimate?
In high school I played soccer for a couple years, tennis for one, wrestling for two and track for three. Playing on all these team sports taught me about what it takes to become a better player and a better teammate. My freshman and sophomore years in high school I had great senior leadership on my teams, which taught me the same skills that I have used as a captain this year.
Career with the Slugs so far?
My first year on the Slugs, 2008, we made it to Nationals, but unfortunately I broke my arm during a practice right before Sectionals. I didn’t even bring my cleats to Boulder but I ended up playing one point against Stanford in a crossover game with my cast. It was a fun experience, but since then my goal has been to get back to the Big Show. One of our team goals this year was to make it back to Nationals, so it feels great as a senior captain to accomplish that. But now we have some new goals and two more weeks to work. Quick shout-out to Daryl Nounnan, my coach for all 4 years I have been on the team. If it weren’t for him, I would not be the player or person I am today.
What do you like to do outside of Ultimate?
Given the time of year and since I live in Santa Cruz, I like to head to the beach for some skim boarding and swimming, and play basketball at the court around the corner from my house. Outside of sports, I pay a lot of attention to discovering new music, specifically all kinds of electronic music.
Ultimate after college?
After this season I am planning on playing club with a bunch of my teammates and some other players from around the Bay Area. I have spent many summers as a camp counselor so I love playing with kids, and could see myself as a high school or even college coach sometime in the future.