Rafer Alston is a name that is widely known in streetball. Alston, who also went by the name ‘Skip to my Lou,’ was one of the streetball legends during his career.
Rafer Alston was a streetball legend
Alston grew up in Queens, New York, where streetball is very popular. Growing up, he would play at different courts throughout the neighborhood, and he was talented at a young age. Alston attended Benjamin N. Cardozo High School and graduated in 1994. After high school, he played college basketball at Ventura College in California and then transferred to Fresno City College and finished his basketball career at Fresno State University.
Alston continued his basketball career after college and joined the AND1 Mixtape Tour. This was a traveling basketball competition where a group of streetball players would travel across the country and play people from different cities. What made the AND1 Mixtape Tour so unique was the basketball skills that the players possessed. Some players like Alston played in college or overseas. But the tour quickly gained attention across the country, and Alston was a popular name. He was known for his ball-handling abilities. One of his go-to moves was a skip while dribbling the ball, and that’s why he got the nickname ‘Skip to my Lou.’
AND1 became a basketball tradition during the summer, and the tour was televised on ESPN2. The world had the opportunity to see who these players were and the talents that they had. Alston became a household name as one of the original players to be featured on tour. With his creative ball-handling abilities and high basketball IQ, Alston had the opportunity to fulfill his dream.
Rafer Alston getting the chance to play in the NBA
Videos of Alston playing in the AND1 Mixtape Tour reached the NBA level, and in 1998 he signed with the Idaho Stampede (now the Salt Lake City Stars) a G League affiliate of the Utah Jazz. After player a year with the Stampede, he got his shot at the NBA. He played with the Milwaukee Bucks from 1999 to 2002. Alston was not out playing on the streets anymore, and he was now playing with and alongside other NBA players.
He struggled early on during his NBA career, but he was able to transition from streetball to the NBA game. Alston mainly came off the bench early on in his career, and by the time he joined the Toronto Raptors during the 2004-05 season, he was a starter. That season he averaged 14.2 points per game, which was a career-high. After playing in Toronto, he joined the Houston Rockets the next season and put up solid numbers. He averaged 12.1 points, 6.7 assists, four rebounds, and 1.6 steals at the point guard position. He had a good career in Houston playing with future Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady. Alston finished his career playing for the Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets, and Miami Heat. Throughout his NBA career, he averaged 10.1 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.8 rebounds.
Rafer Alston serving as an NBA scout
In 2019, Alston became a scout for the Minnesota Timberwolves. In an interview with The Athletic, Alston talked about his transition to becoming a basketball scout. “Growing up I always studied basketball. I always was watching the game,” Alston said. He was a student of the game and always found ways he can improve his game.
Alston also talked about what he looks for when he’s scouting players. “You want to get the best read on their psyche and attitudes when things are going good and bad for ’em,” he said. “To me, that’s the intriguing part about it. You’re almost delving into the minds of players.” Alston has a lot of experience playing basketball, and he continues to impact the game even though he’s done playing.