Parents of FAU’s Alejandro Ralat enjoy team’s success
Parents of the Florida Atlantic men’s basketball team are gearing up to travel to Houston as their sons are set to play in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament Saturday.
Alejandro Ralat's parents said he picked up the love for basketball from his older brother and has been playing since he was 4 years old.
"We moved here from Puerto Rico like 11 years ago, so when we moved here, the first thing was we needed a house with a basketball court, so that was even done even before the house (was finished)," Miguel Ralat, Alejandro's father, said from their home in Miami.
Alejandro went to school at American Heritage and St. Andrew's in Boca Raton, where he made the varsity team as a freshman. The redshirt sophomore is 22.
"We used to go to the games and every time he scored," Miguel said. "The other students would start chanting, 'He's a freshman.'"
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Through their son's basketball career, they crossed paths with FAU coach Dusty May, who persuaded Alejandro to choose FAU for college.
"For us, it was a no-brainer to go to FAU, having Dusty as a coach," Miguel said. "We're so fortunate to have him and we made the right decision."
"The way we look at it, what an amazing coach but also as a person, as a role model, to our kids. How special is that?" Kathryn Troncoso, Alejandro's mother, said.
A scout team player for the Owls, Alejandro helps the team during practice by learning and using the plays and techniques of the opponent.
"He's a team player. He accepts the role. He just wants to contribute," Miguel said. "From player No. 1 to player No. 15, he says, 'They are all my brothers. We love each other. We do whatever needs to be done to win a game.'"
The couple have gone to every FAU game in Boca Raton and have since traveled to Texas, Ohio, New York and will be in Houston.
They said they always bring their lucky shirts, buttons and pom-poms to the game.
"He expresses it in words and also in the love," Miguel said. "Just the hugs that we get all the time, before the games, after the games. Even when he's supposed to be walking in line, he'll run out and give us a big hug."
The two said as quickly as they unpack, they're on the next plane, and they're ready to celebrate in Boca Raton when FAU brings home the national championship trophy.
Alejandro is studying accounting but would love to play professional basketball with Puerto Rico's national team or the Miami Heat.
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