Alex Schrempf to take over Aspen High boys basketball

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Former UCLA player Alex Schrempf, a coach in the Seattle area, will take over the Aspen High School boys basketball program.
Courtesy photo |

Alex Schrempf, with deep basketball roots, will take over the Aspen High School boys basketball program.

Schrempf, the former Seattle-area prep player and coach, was named the new head coach by Aspen athletic director Jay Maher. He will take over for Rolf Schildman, who coached the AHS boys for two seasons after moving over from the girls program.

Schrempf, the son of former college and NBA great Detlef Schrempf, said he’s eager to coach the Aspen High School boys team and become a part of the Aspen community.

“Basketball is more than a game; it’s a lifestyle,” said Schrempf, who met with returning players earlier this week. “We want to teach … to teach them to approach it in a respectable way, approach life in a respectable way.”

Schrempf went to UCLA to play basketball after a stellar prep career at Bellevue, Washington, Seattle’s largest suburb and an integral part of the Washington high school basketball scene.

But an injury during his sophomore season in college caused him to reassess his direction and his career, Schrempf said.

He returned to Seattle and completed his degree at the Art Institute of Seattle.

Schrempf returned to coach his alma mater at Bellevue, starting with the freshmen and sophomores.

He worked up to the varsity position and also coached the elite area club program, Friends of Hoop Seattle.

He accepted an internship with the NBA, working on international basketball operations from the league’s Manhattan offices.

With an eye on a future NBA position, Schrempf said he was ready for something different.

“I was looking for a change in scenery,” Schrempf said. “I grew up going to Sun Valley to snowboard.”

And as an avid rider, he said he looked at going to Sun Valley or, perhaps Aspen, while he awaited a possible NBA post.

A friend suggested the Roaring Fork Valley.

He arrived in December.

“I was sold from Day 2 up on the mountain,” said Schrempf, who soon accepted a sales position with Glenwood Springs Chevrolet.

“It was organic; that’s what I love about being out here,” he said, adding that he met Roaring Fork athletic director Marty Nieslanik and they discussed basketball.

The Roaring Fork AD suggested he contact Maher at Aspen High School where there was an opening in the boys program.

From there, Alex Schrempf was selected to take over the AHS boys.

“My experience as a coach … stands on its own,” he said, adding that he’ll integrate elements from his previous mentors.

“I had some amazing coaches growing up,” he said. “And I grew up watching my dad’s (NBA) practices.”

That helped him learn his father’s passion for basketball along with his dedication and work ethic.

All are part of Alex Schrempf’s approach, he said.

His father Detlef, a native of West Germany, played at Centralia, Washington, and then the University of Washington where he was an All-American.

He was a first-round draft pick of the Dallas Mavericks in 1985, the eighth overall selection in the NBA draft.

He played for Dallas, Indiana, Seattle and Portland and was a three-time NBA all-star.

Alex Schrempf, from his dad’s NBA practices, vaulted onto the Seattle prep basketball stage with other local legends like Brandan Roy and Nate Robinson.

Schrempf also coached Zach LaVine of the Timberwolves at Friends of Hoop Seattle.

“The Seattle basketball scene is incredible,” said Schrempf, who also has a background in music.

He graduated from a program in audio design technology and has extensive experience in video production and editing — more skills he’ll put to use at AHS.

The first open gym of the summer will be Friday afternoon at Aspen High School.