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Monmouth’s First and Only Basketball Player to Play in the NBA

When you think of basketball and Monmouth University, a name that brings those two together is Robert Alexander Blackwell, Jr., also known as Alex Blackwell, who wore number 32 for the Hawks. His name is written all over the Monmouth University record books. He was born on June 27, 1970, and is from Toms River, New Jersey. He stood at a height of 6’6 and weighed 250 pounds. He started attending Monmouth College in 1989 but didn’t start playing basketball right away due to various reasons.

When he finally got on the court, he rose to the Division I standards that Monmouth carried. He scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in just his first game. Blackwell was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 for his efforts. He is known as one of the most decorated athletes in school history. He finished his career as a three-time First Team All-Metropolitan, All-State, and All-Northeast Conference honoree. He was a communication major and still holds the single-season scoring record. Blackwell scored a total of 663 points in his 1990-91 season while also owning three of the top eight single-season scoring records overall. He left Monmouth with a total of 1,749 points.

According to the Monmouth University Hall of Fame website it says, “Blackwell reached double-figures in 79 of 86 career games played with 25 double-doubles and his career 20.3 points-per-game scoring average is still highest in program Division I history.” They also share that Monmouth averaged 18.6 wins in three seasons with him on the team. This caused him to set a program record with 20 victories during the 1991-92 season.

With all the achievements that Blackwell has accomplished he was able to win a gold medal for the United States in the World University Games in 1991. Here he played six games for the U.S. and averaged 6.0 points along with 4.2 rebounds. Blackwell is the only former player from Monmouth to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

He signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent on Aug. 11, 1992. He appeared in 27 games that season. When he played for the Lakers, he averaged 1.3 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.3 assists per game. As of today, it is said that Blackwell hasn’t been heard from in many years, according to an “Asbury Park Press” article that was written back in 2015. It said, “One Chilean website indicated Blackwell is teaching English and coaching basketball, but offered few details about any of it.” Fans and former teammates are very curious about what his journey has been like after all these years.

Despite this, however, it is clear that Blackwell made his mark on Monmouth Athletics history and will continue to be remembered for years to come.