Alexander Salonga was drawn to basketball at an early age, following the lead of his father who loved the sport. When other sports failed to hold his attention, he turned his efforts to hoops.
“I was about five years old when I started playing,” says Salonga. “I was tired of picking daisies in left field during t-ball. So it’s been around me my whole life.”
A senior at Servite High School, Salonga is a point guard for the Friars, where he serves as an additional coach on the floor, as well as the primary facilitator of scoring opportunities for his teammates.
“Being point guard, I enjoy knowing where everyone has to go, being able to communicate and being unselfish with the ball,” says the 17-year-old. “I feel like that’s real important. Getting my teammates to score is just as important as me scoring.”
Salonga uses his role as a senior leader to help guide a young varsity team by instilling in them the way Servite plays basketball.
“Alexander is a Servite Friar through and through,” says Servite head basketball coach, John Morris. “He is a four-year member of the basketball program who has trusted the process and worked diligently to get to where he is today. He is a great example of what it means to be a faith-filled leader and a great mentor for younger players in our program.”
Salonga’s size has posed some challenges for him over the years, but his intense work effort and drive to be better has allowed him to surpass expectations as well as create a confidence that will take him far beyond his years in the sport.
“I’ve always loved being the underdog,” says Salonga. “I’m not the tallest or most athletic. But playing basketball has taught me this work ethic where I know if I give it my 100%, and I am 100% mentally into something, I will be better at it. And I’ll be successful, no matter what I’m doing, even after the ball stops bouncing.”
Away from the court, Salonga has a passion for music, movies and acting, and is involved in the theatre and choir programs on campus.
“It’s exhilarating to perform in front of a live audience,” says Salonga. “I find similarities between basketball and the performing arts. It’s something I really enjoy.”
The Placentia resident has plans to continue developing his passion by attending film school in college in the hopes of working in the film and television industry. He is inspired by the work ethic of his mother and the guidance of Coach Morris, and his faith remains a constant source of comfort and strength.
“Prayer plays a big role at Servite in basketball…and as a Catholic, I just find that pretty amazing,” says Salonga. “God is giving you everything that you have. Even if you’re not succeeding, God has a plan, and he’s trying to teach you something.”