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Alex Caruso’s Rise to Fame Started in College Station
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

I petition there be a statue outside Reed Arena.

Wispy hair, headband and all, down to his mustache’s finest detail.

Alex Caruso deserves it.

Caruso is a homegrown kid. Born and raised in College Station, he was a ball boy for the Texas A&M Aggies basketball team growing up. He attended A&M Consolidated High School. As a senior, the high-flying point guard averaged 18 points and nine boards per game. He was named to the TABC All-Regional, All-State, and All-Star teams, in addition to winning the district MVP award.

Caruso narrowed his college choices to the University of Colorado and Texas A&M. He called his dad, a former Creighton basketball player, to inform him of his decision.

He chose the maroon and white.

Alex Caruso at Texas A&M

Alex Caruso rises to dunk in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
Harry How via Getty Images

RELATED: Alex Caruso’s Poster Dunk on Ole Miss Gave Birth to “The Carushow”

Caruso’s stat sheet throughout his college basketball career isn’t eye popping. Per Sports Reference, he finished with a career average of 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists.

Though, under head coach Billy Kennedy, the point guard ran the show, steering the offense around guys like Danuel House and anchoring the perimeter defense. As a senior, he was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team and Second Team All-SEC.

Texas A&M’s shining moment came in the second-round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament against Northern Iowa. Down 12 with 44 seconds remaining in the game, the Aggies cameback to send the game to overtime. Caruso converted a key field goal and free throw with 11.8 seconds left to bring the game within two. A&M won the game 92-88 in double overtime and advanced to the Sweet 16 against Oklahoma, where they lost 77-63.

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Alex Caruso celebrates after Texas A&M completes its comeback against Norhtern Iowa.
Ronald Martinez via Getty Images

Caruso graduated as the school’s all-time leader in assists (649) and steals (276). The Aggies won at least 18 games in his four years on campus. His senior season was the best overall. The team shared the SEC regular season title with Kentucky and finished 28-9.

Alex Caruso’s NBA Career

Alex Caruso drives the lane against the Toronto Raptors.
Cole Burston via Getty Images

Caruso went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2016 Summer League and signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder in September of that year. The Oklahoma City Blue, of the then D-League, acquired the former Aggie after the Thunder waived him.

The Carushow had its first performance on the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017 Summer League. After LA’s top pick Lonzo Ball went down with an injury, Caruso stepped up in his place and led the LA Lakers to victory, and they ended up winning the Summer League Championship. He signed a two-way contract with the Lakers on July 13, 2017, meaning he primarily played with the G-League’s South Bay Lakers but could be called up when needed.

The next summer, another successful showing at the Summer League earned him a new two-way contract. The Carushow started to attract more attendees as he appeared in more NBA contests. Social media and ESPN collectively lose their minds when he dunks.

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On July 6, 2019, the NBA player signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract to remain in Los Angeles. His defensive abilities inserted him into the regular rotation expanding to the postseason. The LeBron James-led Lakers rebounded well following the restart from the NBA season’s cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19. In Orlando, the team started slow but found their rhythm in the playoffs. Caruso started in the series-clinching Game 6 of the NBA Finals over the Miami Heat.

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Caruso entered unrestricted free agency after the 2020-21 campaign. Although he was popular among fans and a vital contributor, the Lakers let the former Texas A&M guard walk and he signed a four-year deal worth $37 million with Chicago Bulls. And what do you know, the Bulls quickly became one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams.

Caruso rose from an unknown recruit to an NBA champion and became a cult icon in the process. It all started in his hometown.

MORE: Acie Law’s “The Shot” Buried Texas & Made Him an Aggie Legend

Joe Grobeck About the author:
Joe is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and lives in Austin, Texas. He believes Ndaumkong Suh should've won the 2009 Heisman and is an avid basketball fan.
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