The New York City Playground Forged His All-Star Ascension Flash back to the Rivals Class of 2008 high school player rankings and you’ll notice names like B.J. Mullens, Scotty Hopson, Brandon Jennings, Al-Farouq Aminu, Samardo Samuels, Willie Warren, Devin Ebanks, Chris Singleton and Ater Majok, among others, ranked ahead of Kemba Walker. But on the playgrounds of New York City, those of us connected to the city game knew that he had a chance, despite being undersized, to ride the express lane to college stardom. In the summer of 2006, while working with a remarkably creative team of hoops...Read More
Alejandro "Ali" Danois
Alejandro "Ali" Danois is the Editor-in-Chief of The Shadow League and a Producer with Shadow League Films. He is also a contributor with Bleacher Report's Special Projects Division. The former Senior Editor of Bounce Magazine, he is also Freelance Sports and Entertainment Writer whose work has been published by the New York Times, Sporting News, Baltimore Sun, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, SLAMonline and Ebony Magazine, among many others.
His Shadow League feature story, "Humble Beginnings", was mentioned in the Best American Sports Writing Anthology as among the country's most notable stories of 2014. Follow him on twitter @alidanois He is currently at work on his first book, which is scheduled to be released in September of 2016. He is also serving as a Producer on an upcoming sports documentary for ESPN's 30 For 30 piece.
A product of New York City public schools, Ali earned a scholarship for talented inner city minority students to attend Milton Academy, a prestigious boarding school in Massachusetts before attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
His first book, The Boys of Dunbar, A Story of Love, Hope and Basketball, drops in September of 2016
Sports is much more than the final score, they inform us as to who we are as a society from many distinct vantage points: from commerce, law, entertainment, crime, race, class, inclusiveness and competition. This page will celebrate the unique beauty of the games we love, but will also delve deeper into the greater meaning, telling stories that really matter, about ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things through the prism of sport, and the various ancillary elements that reach into every inch of the American fabric.
Articles by Alejandro "Ali" Danois
We’ve Never Seen a Better Class of First-Year Floor Generals For folks who cover and follow the elite AAU hoops circuit, this 2017 college basketball freshman class has been talked about ever since they arrived in high school. And judging from the results so far, they lived up to every ounce of the hyperbole that has followed them into the college game. This year’s freshman class is already on par with the 2008 class that featured Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and O.J. Mayo, along with the most recent ridiculousness of the 2014 crew that boasted the likes...Read More
Sports has always been a galvanizing force that brings all types of people together to rally around a common cause. Think of the fervor and excitement of how countries unify around their shared interests during the Olympics or the World Cup, or how Jesse Owens and Joe Louis raced and fought not only against their opponents, but Hitler’s appalling brand of fascist ideology as well. The team construct in the American sports landscape brings great athletes from a dizzying array of nationalities, backgrounds and belief systems together in ways that few other entities can. Tune into a National Hockey...Read More
Dear Lamar, Just wanted to let you know that, despite those out there who snicker at your frailties and misfortunes, there are many in your corner who want you to thrive in what should be your biggest comeback ever. As you’re well aware, we’re talking about the game of life, bro, because basketball and your accomplishments in the game are beyond inconsequential right now. We know that substance abuse is an equal opportunity destroyer, and that doctors, lawyers, professors and anyone else, including current or former elite athletes, are not immune from its devastating effects. Those of us who’ve...Read More
Showtime Documentary, Premiering Tonight, Nov. 4th at 9:00PM, Sheds Light on his Life, Family and College Experience In the early spring of 2013, I found myself at the National High School Invitational on the campus of Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Maryland. The tournament, which has since been renamed the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals and moved to New York’s Madison Square Garden, assembles some of the top squads in the country for a March Madness-style, lose-and-go-home event to determine the supposed prep national champion. The talent in the gym over the tourney’s three days is enough to make...Read More