Peters a silent star for Valpo

Alec Peters isn’t your typical star student-athlete.

In a world where college stars have caused a raucous, signing illegal autographs, stealing crab legs and yelling inappropriate phrases off tables in the middle of student unions, Alec Peters is different.

The junior has powered his team to a 22-5 regular season record, backed by 16.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, while keeping a low profile around campus, not attempting to attract extra attention to himself.

“I don’t look at myself [as a star],” Peters said. “I look at myself as just another piece to the puzzle.”

Nor does Peters see himself as anything spectacular or unique.

“I’m just a normal kid from Washington, Ill. that enjoys playing basketball,” Peters said. “I’ve got nothing really interesting about myself.”

Peters’ story is simple. He grew up in an average-sized town in central Illinois where his grandparents were farmers and his dad was his AAU coach.

“I don’t come from anywhere exciting or anywhere that was less fortunate,” Peters said. “I come from family and was able to just play basketball. My parents were able to let me play basketball and other sports.”

Peters’s love for the game of basketball came at an early age, where his dream quickly became to play in the NBA. The values instilled in Peters’s childhood have led him to where he is today.  

“He has a great upbringing,” head coach Bryce Drew said. “His family is a tremendous family and you can tell he was raised to be very respectful, to work very hard and those things come out on an hourly basis when you’re around him. He’s just a great young man.”

Peters describes himself as an introvert, while exemplifying humility to just about everyone that knows him. Perhaps it’s the fact that he is secure and comfortable in his own skin. He knows he is good so he doesn’t have to tell people how good he is.

Instead, he puts his focus into being the best player he can be on the court and how he can make his team better. But most surprisingly, his drive reaches from an unlikely place.

“I think it comes from fear,” Peters said. “My biggest motivation is failure and not wanting to fail. I’m scared to look at myself as someone that didn’t try as hard or someone that wasn’t as successful as I could have been. It kind of drives me to be better at whatever it is. I hate failure, I hate making mistakes, I hate missing shots. Anything that has to do with something I didn’t want to happen, it bugs me like crazy until I play again. I’m just scared to fail, scared and afraid to not end up being the success I know I can.”

Peters’ fear is both his biggest motivator and his worst enemy.

“It’s good and bad,” Peters said. “It kind of eats at me and it’s probably not the best thing for me. I probably should start moving on (to the next game), but at the end of the day it helps me work harder. It has helped develop that work ethic I have now.”  

“My whole philosophy is you should never be nervous. Repetition and practice should cure nervousness. It should cure that feeling you get in the game of uncertainty. If you practice and you work hard enough, you should never have that feeling in a game of when you don’t think you can do it. It’s helped me.”

While Peters may come off as an obsessive competitor to some, he is quick to point out basketball is at the highest, third in his priorities in life.

“It’s definitely behind my faith and my family,” Peters said. “I try as hard as I can to put those two in front of basketball. I know it’s hard sometimes especially after a loss. After a bad game, you want to just completely think about the game. You’ve got to just take a step back and realize that there’s more to it than [just] playing basketball.”

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