Boys Basketball: West's Alexander, Already Suspended, Leaves Team
By Jeff Johnson, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The troubled senior season of Dondre Alexander has come to an end in a troubling way.
The all-state guard said Friday he has quit the Iowa City West boys' basketball team after being asked to submit to a drug test by the school. Alexander was suspended two weeks ago for a violation of school policy and was eligible to return to the team if it made it to the state tournament semifinals.
Defending Class 4A champion and top-ranked West is 21-0 heading into next week's postseason and has won 47 consecutive games.
"There was a drug test they wanted me to take for no reason," Alexander said. "I told them I don't think they have the right to make me take a drug test, so I quit."
Alexander said he has begun working out with the West boys' track team instead. He averaged 10 points in 14 games in a 2012-13 season that immediately got off on the wrong foot.
He was suspended for five games after verbally assaulting Davenport Assumption coach Joe Barrer following a last-second West win in the season opener in November. He confirmed Friday that his suspension two weeks ago came after he was witnessed in a downtown Iowa City bar.
"That's how things started," he said. "I definitely wasn't drinking. I was the designated driver."
West Athletics Director Scott Kibby would not confirm Alexander's assertion that the school wanted him to take a drug test in order to be allowed to return.
"Just let Dondre speak his peace," Kibby said. "I would say there were numerous things we needed from him to be reinstated and he refused to do any of them ... It's like being a parent. You have unconditional love for your kids. But at the same time, when you mess up, you have to suffer the consequences. I love Dondre. I have no ill will toward him."
Alexander posted a disparaging remark about someone at West on his Twitter feed who, when asked, he would not identify.
"I hate that man ... as a person and the way he does (expletive)," he tweeted.
The 6-foot-3 guard has signed with Southern Mississippi to play basketball and said he still plans on going there, though he had not told the school of his decision to quit at West. A message seeking comment from the USM basketball staff had not immediately been returned.
"I can't explain it," Alexander said, when asked what the season has been like for him. "If I'd have known how this was all going to turn out, I would have went to City High instead. But it is what it is, I guess."