Alex Legion's star-crossed college career ends with a whimper

For the third time in his once-promising basketball career, highly touted Alex Legion is adrift without somewhere to play.

First he left Kentucky after clashing with volatile coach Billy Gillispie. Then he departed Illinois because his lights-out shooting in practice didn't translate to games enough to earn playing time. And finally he was dismissed from Florida International last week as a result of a team rules violation.

That Legion's college basketball career would end with a whimper would have been difficult to predict four years ago when the Parade All-American starred for Oak Hill Academy as a high school senior.'s No. 44 recruit in the class of 2007 drew interest from numerous elite programs, originally committing to Michigan before changing his mind and settling on Kentucky instead.

The hype Legion received in high school never amounted to any sustained success in college regardless of where he was. He averaged a solid 6.7 points in six games as a freshman at Kentucky and then 3.5 points in 11.1 minutes as a redshirt freshman at Illinois.

The arrival of guards D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul reduced Legion's playing time at the start of last season, so he chose to transfer to FIU even though it meant forfeiting a year of eligibility.

Legion's FIU career lasted 10 games before coach Isiah Thomas stopped playing him and then ultimately removed him from the team without so much as a press release. He was FIU's third leading scorer, averaging 13 points per game and leading the struggling program to four victories in the 10 games he played.

It's unclear what's next for Legion, but a non-Division I program would be his only option if he chose to continue playing college basketball.

Whatever it is he does, hopefully it will bring him joy. This four-year basketball odyssey he's been on could not have provided much.

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