Top Ten Things You Should Know About Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Top Ten Things You Should Know About Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

The Top Ten Things You Should Know About Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in this comprehensive guide. Uncover insights, career highlights, and personal details about the basketball sensation. Shaivonte Aician Gilgeous-Alexander (born July 12, 1998), also known by his initials SGA, is a Canadian professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one year of college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats and was selected 11th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2018 NBA draft before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers that same night.

In his rookie year, Gilgeous-Alexander was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team before being traded to the Thunder in July 2019. In his first year with Oklahoma City, he was their leading scorer and helped them make the playoffs as a fifth seed. After dealing with injuries the next two seasons, Gilgeous-Alexander was named to his first NBA All-Star Game and was voted to the All-NBA First Team in 2023, when he finished fourth in the league in scoring with 31.4 points per game.

Top Ten Things You Should Know About Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a rising star in the basketball world, has captured the hearts of fans worldwide. This article delves into the top ten aspects that make him a standout athlete and personality.

Top Ten Things You Should Know About Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

1) Remain Efficient

Efficiency was one of the major gripes Russell Westbrook faced his entire career. Westbrook has never once had a true shooting percentage above 56%, and he’s only had one year where his true shooting even reached average. His shooting was never a strength, but he never stopped taking jumpers. He loved to get into his mid-range pull-up, despite it never being an efficient shot. He was an elite driver, but he never leveraged that to the fullest extent.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has a true shooting percentage of 62.3% in only his third season. Efficiency is usually a sign of scalability, and being scalable is one of Shai’s most useful traits. SGA is an elite finisher despite being nowhere near the athlete Westbrook is, and his jumper is already better than Russell’s.

The two players’ contrasting styles are likely what led to the difference in efficiency. Westbrook played at 100 miles an hour every second on the court, and that led to erratic shooting at times. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the type to take his time and continue probing until he finds the best shot. If the Canadian can remain efficient, it will be an important feather in his cap.

2) Continue to Improve

Russell Westbrook started off his career playing second fiddle to Kevin Durant. He was known as a tenacious defender and athletic slasher early in his career. As his career continued, he became more and more comfortable as a true point guard and a star player.

Shai has already become comfortable as a true point guard, but that doesn’t mean he can stagnate as a player. The 22-year-old still has some work to do to become a better playmaker for others, a deadlier shooter off the bounce, and a better on-ball defender. If Gilgeous Alexander can continue to grow in these areas, he can continue to make a case as the best thunder of all time.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is still yet to make an All-Star game, much less win an MVP like Russell Westbrook, but there is still plenty of time for him to do this. He will have to prove himself as a top point guard in the NBA.

3) Win a Ring

The ring conversation can be trite and wrought with logical fallacies, but it does make sense here. Russell Westbrook, for all of his elite talent and accolades, was never able to take a team all the way. Even in his MVP season, the Thunder were only a six-seed in the Western Conference. The closest Westbrook ever got was a loss to the Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals, where he was still second fiddle to Kevin Durant.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander may not be the best player on a championship team, but perhaps he can be the Kyle Lowry to the next Kawhi Leonard. Maybe he can be the best player on a championship team, and his proficiency on offense will allow for an elite team to be built around him. Either way, a ring would go a long way toward making Gilgeous Alexander the greatest Oklahoma City Thunder of all time.

4. Gilgeous-Alexander appears to be a solid ballhandler

One of the defining characteristics of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s playing style is his exceptional prowess as a ballhandler. With finesse and precision, Shai navigates the court with a level of control that belies his years in the league. His dribbling skills are not just a means to an end but an art form, creating opportunities and confounding defenders.

Whether orchestrating plays, driving to the basket, or executing dazzling crossovers, Shai’s ballhandling abilities contribute significantly to his team’s offensive dynamism. This skill, combined with his strategic vision, elevates his gameplay and positions him as a playmaker capable of influencing the flow of the game. As we witness Gilgeous-Alexander’s career unfold, his solid ballhandling remains a cornerstone of his success and a spectacle for basketball enthusiasts worldwide.

5. College Triumphs

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s journey to NBA stardom was paved with triumphs during his college years, showcasing the raw talent and dedication that would define his future in professional basketball. While at the University of Kentucky, Shai emerged as a standout player, leading the Wildcats with an impressive blend of scoring, playmaking, and defensive prowess. His memorable performances on the collegiate stage not only solidified his status as a rising star but also garnered accolades, including SEC All-Freshman Team honors.

Shai’s college triumphs served as a launching pad for his NBA career, providing a glimpse into the skills and determination that would later make him a force to be reckoned with in the league. His time in college remains a crucial chapter in the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander story, a testament to the foundation upon which his professional success was built.

6. NBA Draft and Rookie Year

In the 2018 NBA Draft, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s journey to stardom began when he was selected as the 11th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets and later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. His rookie year was nothing short of remarkable, as he quickly made a significant impact on the court. Shai’s exceptional ball-handling skills, court vision, and defensive prowess were evident from the start, earning him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

His ability to navigate the game with composure and make clutch plays under pressure showcased a level of maturity beyond his years. Shai’s rookie season set the stage for what would become a flourishing career, leaving fans and analysts alike eagerly anticipating the continued ascent of this promising young talent in the basketball world.

7. Unique Playing Style

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander boasts a playing style that transcends conventional norms, distinguishing him as a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court. His unique blend of finesse, agility, and strategic brilliance sets him apart from his peers. Shai’s on-court charisma is characterized by an uncanny ability to navigate defenses with unparalleled ball-handling skills, leaving defenders in his wake.

His seamless integration of speed and precision makes every play a spectacle, captivating fans, and confounding opponents. Whether orchestrating plays as a point guard or showcasing his scoring prowess, Shai’s versatility and unpredictability make him a dynamic asset to any team. His ability to seamlessly transition between offensive and defensive roles underscores the adaptability that defines his playing style, solidifying his status as a rising star with a game uniquely his own.

8. Career Milestones

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s journey in the NBA has been punctuated by a series of awe-inspiring career milestones, each contributing to his status as one of the league’s brightest talents. From his early days as a rookie, Shai showcased a remarkable ability to impact games, earning himself a spot among the NBA’s rising stars. Throughout his career, he has achieved significant milestones, from recording career-high points in a single game to making crucial game-winning plays that have etched his name in the annals of basketball history.

Shai’s accolades include All-Star selections and standout performances in critical matchups, solidifying his reputation as a player who thrives under pressure. These milestones not only underscore his individual achievements but also highlight his invaluable contributions to the teams he’s played for, painting a vivid picture of a player destined for greatness in the ever-evolving landscape of professional basketball.

9. Off-Court Contributions

Beyond the hardwood, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s impact extends into the realms of philanthropy and community engagement, marking him not only as a basketball sensation but also as a socially conscious role model. Shai’s off-court contributions exemplify a commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others. Engaging in various community initiatives, he has consistently used his platform to advocate for social change and equality.

Whether through charitable foundations, youth mentorship programs, or active participation in community events, Shai strives to leave a lasting legacy that transcends the confines of the basketball arena. His dedication to creating positive change underscores the significance of athletes using their influence for the betterment of society, solidifying Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s standing as not just an exceptional player but a compassionate and socially responsible individual off the court.

10. Down the stretch for Kentucky

Gilgeous-Alexander started in the all-freshman lineup that also included P.J. Washington, Kevin Knox, Hamidou Diallo, and Nick Richards. Those Wildcats made the Sweet 16, losing to Kansas State 61-58. Richards remains at Kentucky, but Washington was just drafted by the Charlotte Hornets; Knox spent his rookie season with the New York Knickerbockers, and Diallo spent his rookie season with the Thunder.


Q. Is Shai an All-Star player?

Absolutely! Shai’s exceptional skills have earned him a spot among the NBA’s elite, showcasing All-Star-worthy performances.

Q. What makes Shai’s playing style unique?

Shai’s playing style is a harmonious blend of finesse, speed, and strategic prowess, making him a dynamic force on the basketball court.

Q. How has Shai contributed to community initiatives?

Shai is actively involved in various community initiatives, demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility and making a positive impact beyond basketball.

Q. Can you highlight Shai’s standout college moments?

Shai’s college journey was marked by standout performances, leading his team to victory and setting the stage for a successful NBA career.

Q. What awards has Shai won in the NBA?

Shai has garnered numerous awards, including Rookie of the Year nominations, solidifying his status as one of the league’s brightest talents.

Q. How has Shai’s background influenced his career?

Shai’s background has been a crucial influence, shaping his determination and passion for the game from a young age.


In conclusion, this exploration of the “Top Ten Things You Should Know About Shai Gilgeous-Alexander” unveils a multifaceted profile of a basketball prodigy whose journey transcends the court. From his early life and college triumphs to the pinnacle of his NBA career, Shai’s story is one of resilience, skill, and dedication. His unique playing style, marked by finesse and strategic brilliance, sets him apart as a dynamic force in the league.

Read also:  NBA Score 2023-24: It’s Time to Ball Out!


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