Alex Canale- Madison’s 3-Point Wiz
MADISON- Being under the radar is exactly where Alex Canale likes to be when he steps onto the basketball court. Opposing players and coaches who have never experienced his demeanor and non-athletic physical look on the court many times don’t notice his presence…until it’s too late.
As a shooting guard for the Suns in the 18-U division of youth basketball in Madison, the 18-year old senior at James Clemens High doesn’t look the part of a wiz at the 3-point shot, but put the ball in his hands, and Canale can demonstrate a “clinic” on how to shoot the long ball behind the three-point line.
“I have what some call a studious look about me wearing my black-rimmed glasses as others don’t expect me to shoot the lights out,” said Canale. “Due to my success at shooting the 3-pointers, I guess I’ve developed a name for myself.”
Canale has put up incredible success numbers now in his seventh season in the Madison youth leagues. Last year he averaged 19.5 points per game. So far into the current 2022-2023 season he has operated at 14 points per game, and like in past seasons, most of his production coming from beyond the 3-point arc.
The son of Jason and Candy Canale, the 5-foot-8, 150-pound athlete once played soccer for five years after the Canale family moved to Madison from Baltimore, Md. when he was four years old. For six years he played for St. John’s Catholic School before he made the move to what was once known as BAM, the one-time name of the youth basketball program hosted by the Madison Recreation Dept.
His father is the Suns’ assistant coach, while his younger brother, Shawn, plays travel baseball.
Canale began shooting basketball on neighborhood courts throughout the immediate area of his home. Many times he would take to the courts by himself while other times with his good friend, John Paul, a fellow student and basketball player for James Clemens. With time Canale soon developed a passion for the sport.
He credits a coach at St. John’s on teaching him the correct way to shoot. “Yes, Coach Jordan Baldwin, a P.E. teacher at the school taught me,” said Canale. “The instructions included having my shoulders and hips square at the basket and look at two brackets on the rim of the basket. I kept practicing till I could do it repeatedly. I kept it consistent and stay with what has worked.”
With a 3.85 grade point average, Canale plans to attend the University of Alabama with the idea of earning a degree in political science, then attending law school. He said his dream job is to run for political office and earn a spot in the House of Representatives. If that plan goes awry, he would like to join a law firm in the immediate Washington, D.C. area.
“I’ve always had a devotion and passion for the sport, and I’ve worked for it,” added Canale. “That passion goes back years as I remember I was nine years old and I had a coach talk to me as he instilled a point of passion for the game. That teaching translates to today.”
Numerous players with the youth program have asked for his advice on how to shoot the 3-point shot. He tells them what he knows- keep your hips aligned with the basket and see those brackets on the rim.
Riding around Madison in his Toyota, Canale works part time as a ticket taker for the Rocket City Trash Pandas. Like the professional baseball team, the upcoming 2023 season will be his third year to greet fans as they arrive at Toyota Field. He’s also a weather buff and with every chance he gets will take creative photos of upcoming storm clouds, many of which sprout up on a calm-like day.
Having the anonymity of the look of a studious teen with black-rimed glasses, Canale is like an oncoming storm cloud on radar, sneaking up on opposing teams with a lightning bolt that is “string music” from beyond the 3-point line.