May 2, 2014

Kobre growling with Tigers

Kevin McCarthy

In March, Alec Kobre was an integral part of the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) state championship team. This month, he just signed a letter-of-intent with University of the Pacific, a member of the West Coast Conference. Here's a suggestion to him for May: buy lottery tickets.

photo of Alec Kobre

This is a story for every aspiring basketball prospect to memorize. Coming out of Montgomery High, Kobre had zero DI offers. After a redshirt year followed by two seasons at SRJC, plus hard work in honing his basketball and athletic skills, he is on scholarship with a prestigious academic school not all that far from home and will be facing off with such conference foes as Gonzaga, St. Mary's and USF.

So what is Coach Ron Verlin and the Tigers getting? Statistically, it's 15.3 points per game on 44%, 45% and 89% shooting respectively plus nearly two assists a contest.

Plus, “toughness, doing what it takes to win games and caring less how I personally do. I just want to have an impact,” according to the 6-foot-3 Kobre.

A Big 8 Conference First Team and All State Honorable Mention honoree, he decided on Pacific “because I really liked it when I visited and the arena they play in [the Alex G. Spanos Center] and the practice gym [the Janssen-Lagario Gymnasium which opened in 2009] were awesome, plus it's close to home.”

Kobre's family and friends have been able to follow his basketball career in person and the opportunity will continue since about 110 miles separate Santa Rosa and Stockton.

Few people recall that SRJC began the season 3-6, with multiple losses to CCSF, Fresno City College and some southern California opponents on the road, but came together to post a 13-game win streak in closing out the season.

“We put in a lot of hard work and the guys bought into playing as a team to get success.” Kobre recalled.

He is looking to major in sports science with the idea of entering sports management.

Kobre's advice to upperclassmen talented enough to be recruited is “get ready for a different brand of basketball and think about taking a year off” in order to get accustomed to the changes. Kobre added, “don't overlook playing at the JC level because it's really close to DI basketball.”

Looking back, choosing Santa Rosa Junior College was an easy process for Kobre. "“live a few minutes away and I used to go and watch practices. Plus, I became good friends with Zac Tiedeman and Tyler Tiedeman {preceding Bear Cub players).”

There was also the reputation of Coach Craig McMillan for getting backcourters to the next level. Kobre won't have the opportunity to go up against the likes of guys he once practiced against like Kevin Aronis (graduating from New Mexico State) or Sama Taku (departing from Pacific) but former SRJC guard Bobby Sharp will be a senior up at Portland, which is a WCC member.

Kobre wanted to thank SRJC Coach Craig McMillan, SRJC Assistant Coach Troy Stevenson, Montgomery High Coach Tom Fitchie and Assistant Coach Brian Long plus basketball skills trainer Ned Averbuck for their help in his progress.