Collegiate basketball is where dreams are either realized or crushed. “It’s a tough place to play,” Dex G. says, reflecting on his own experiences. “It’s a whole new universe, truthfully. Winning is the only option – there’s no room for even the possibility of losing. I learned that really fast when I got into college and started playing. Just like every high school basketball player, I had to change my mentality so I could keep up at that level. These are some of the things I talk about in my new podcast, “D&K in the lab.”
The podcast Dex and his friend Kurt Lee co-host is already getting attention for its frank discussions of what it takes to get to play for a college basketball team. “It’s not just about basketball, however,” Dex says. “The lessons we talk about center on the game, but they’re really universal, so anyone can enjoy listening to us.”
For Dex, those lessons started the moment he decided he would play basketball in high school. “Let’s just say I wasn’t surrounded by a crowd of supportive people,” he says. “I was pretty much the only one who believed I could do it, so that’s one of the first lessons Kurt and I talk about: knowing when to listen to other people and when to ignore them and do your own thing.”
After playing at Suffern High School in New York, Dex graduated from Marist College and went on to Montclair State, where he joined their basketball club. “Can you imagine how exciting it was to help them go 7-0? That was my first semester there, and all I could think was how fantastic it was to be playing at this level,” Dex remembers. “It gave me so much confidence that I kept playing even while I was taking classes at different schools to become a medical records professional.”
Dex was thrilled when he was able to play for SUNY Ulster Community College’s division 2 NJCAA team. “I was on a real high when I played my first game. I’ll never forget being one of the four players who made it to the next level. I actually committed to playing at County College of Morris after Montclair, but after a month, I transferred to SUNY Ulster and walked on the team later on in the season. I also played semi-pro for the East Carolina Cardinals.”
Today, Dex is still trying to play at a high level, and he will be working out with the Ghanaian team, Braves of Customs. It is one of the top basketball clubs in Ghana that competes in FIBA competition, and they have competed in the NBA-BAL qualifiers. Dex has shown great enthusiasm for helping the team reach its ultimate goal: winning a FIBA qualifier once the pandemic slows down.
The quarantine took Dex and Kurt in a whole new direction with basketball. “The quarantine limited us in what we could do. We really missed playing, but then I came up with the idea of doing the podcast,” Kurt says. “I asked Dex what he thought about talking about his own basketball experiences and even interviewing some players to get some material, and he thought it would be a blast to do. It’s taken off from there.”
Dex interviewed Ahmad Clark, who plays for Albany University, and Chris Galbreath, who plays for Sam Houston State, for his podcast. “They get real about how hard you must work to make it to that level, how you have to eat, and how brutal the training really is.” That’s one of the messages Dex would like to get across to high school players: the importance of changing their mentalities so that they can play at the Division 1 level.
Dex and Kurt both think the podcast can help a lot of people. “So many people get discouraged when life throws them a curveball,” Dex says. “I think by listening to our talks, they will be inspired to keep going.”