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Nakai Alex makes good early impressions with Okeechobee High basketball

Okeechobee High School senior guard Nakai Alex takes a running jump shot in the team’s season opener Nov. 23, 2021, against South Fork at South Fork High School in Stuart. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

STUART — Nakai Alex didn’t waste any time getting into the flow of a new high school boys basketball season.

Within the first five minutes of Okeechobee High School’s season opener Nov. 23, Alex scored the team’s first point of the season, grabbed two rebounds on the offensive boards and blocked a shot. Later in the first quarter, he forced a turnover that led to a basket. He finished an all-around solid night with five points, six rebounds, three assists and the one block as the Brahmans opened with a 50-46 win against host South Fork in the Thanksgiving Tip-Off Classic.

The following night Alex snagged another six rebounds and had three steals in a 66-51 win against Jensen Beach.
Alex, a 5-foot-10 guard, has made a good early season impression on new Brahmans coach Pat Kelly.

“He’s a tough guy. He plays hard. He makes plays on the ball, rebounds for his size, moves the ball, passes well. He’s a chemistry player,” said Kelly, who is a familiar face in the region, having previously coached Heritage, Treasure Coast and Jensen Beach.

Kelly has tough shoes to fill. He replaced Demetre Riles, who resigned after guiding the team for the past eight seasons, which included district titles and four consecutive 20-plus win seasons.

Kelly has a squad loaded with seniors and juniors. He said he is stressing fundamentals and prioritizing defense.

Alex is the only Seminole on the varsity squad. He and teammate Bryce Ward played their middle school basketball at Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School. Okeechobee started the season without the tribe’s Lee Edouard and Leon Edouard, who averaged a combined 13 points last season as a sophomore and junior, respectively.

Nakai Alex takes a foul shot against South Fork on Nov. 23, 2021. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at