After LHSAA ruling, Galen Alexander eligible to play at Lafayette Christian; he will see first action Friday night _lowres

Advocate file photo by BRAD BOWIE Livonia's Diante Bridgewater intercepts a pass intended for Breaux Bridge's Galen Alexander during a jamboree on Aug. 29 at Cajun Field.

LAFAYETTE — The Lafayette Christian boys basketball team, already one of the most talented teams in Class 1A, now gets to deploy the latest and possibly greatest piece in its arsenal.

The LHSAA ruled Friday that junior Galen Alexander, a transfer from Breaux Bridge, was eligible for the remainder of the season. He moved to Lafayette from Breaux Bridge, during the offseason, and the LHSAA initially ruled that the move was not entirely legitimate.

A third-party arbitrator overruled that decision Friday after a lengthy hearing Thursday, making Alexander eligible immediately. He will make his Knights debut in a district game against Ascension Episcopal Friday night.

LCA coach Byron Starks stuck to the mantra he’s had since Alexander was initially ruled ineligible.

“These were my exact words from the beginning; LCA did nothing wrong, his family did nothing wrong,” Starks said. “We were a victim of our success, and his family was a victim of Galen’s success. But the truth prevailed, and we’re thankful for that.”

This is big news for the Knights, who are already off to a 19-3 start, and bad news for their opponents.

The 6-foot-6 Alexander is Louisiana’s top-rated player in the class of 2017, according to 247Sports composite rankings, and he ranks in the top 60 nationally, according to both 247Sports and ESPN.

He averaged 17.8 points per game in his sophomore season at Breaux Bridge and gained some acclaim during a strong summer showing. He holds scholarship offers from LSU, Arizona and Vanderbilt among others.

The thing that stands out to Starks about Alexander is his refusal to coast on talent alone.

“I think his character plays a big part in how he does everything. The work ethic stems from that along with the natural talent he’s been blessed with,” Starks said. “For him, he has a God-given gift, but he does work at it. He doesn’t expect it to come to him. That’s going to be a benefit to him now and in the future.”

The Knights already have a loaded roster. Senior twins Kalob and Jacob LeDoux, both McNeese State signees, spearhead a high-flying offensive attack. Sophomore Greg Williams is also a player who could wind up having a plethora of Division I scholarship offers.

Starks said Alexander’s role “remains to be seen,” but he doesn’t see an issue fitting a player of Alexander’s talent into that equation.

“We’ll work him in (Friday night) and see how he fits in, but with our style of offense, he’s going to fit in well because he’s been practicing with us and understands what we’re trying to do,” Starks said. “It’s been a seamless process.”