In the early 1980s, no athlete was bigger in Victoria than Kevin Alexander. The Shamrocks’ high-scoring floor general with the ‘refuse-to-lose’ attitude was a lacrosse force feared and respected around the Western Lacrosse Association and across Canada. Many Vancouver Island families made the weekly excursion out to the old Memorial Arena on Blanshard to watch “Alexander the Great” do what he did best: score goals by the bushel.

The impact Alexander had on the devoted Victoria Shamrock faithful is impressive even decades later. At least two parents named their children after him. On a 2008 NBA broadcast, Steve Nash listed Alexander as one of his childhood heroes alongside the likes of Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Diego Maradona, and Glenn Hoddle.

Born and raised in Victoria, Alexander grew up in a true Canadian lacrosse family. He recalls throwing the ball around the yard with his dog who could find stray tosses in any bush even before beginning organized lacrosse at age five at Stevenson Park. His two older brothers, Ken and Frank, both suited up for the junior and senior Shamrocks and wherever they played Kevin often tagged along with his stick too.

At 13, Alexander became the senior Shamrocks’ water boy and, unbelievably, suited up for a game a year later when they were short of players. His brothers were there to take care of him, but Kevin could hold his own. At 15, he played in five Shamrock games and averaged three goals a game.

At the same time Alexander was fast on his way to becoming one of the highest scoring junior players ever, recording a record 217 points in 28 games in 1976. He was named MVP of the Victoria McDonald’s Bread 1976 Minto Cup victory, emblematic of the Canadian junior lacrosse championship. In the two previous seasons, Burnaby Cablevision had also picked up Alexander for Minto Cup play.

Drafted by Nanaimo in 1976, Alexander played his first two WLA seasons with the Timbermen, highlighted by participating at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton where lacrosse was a demonstration sport.

Traded back home to Victoria in 1979, he scored on his first shift the first time he touched the ball for the Shamrocks. Over the next eight seasons he would cement his reputation as one of the greatest goal-scorers in Canadian lacrosse history. When Alexander retired from box lacrosse in 1986, he stood as the WLA’s third all-time leading goal scorer. In exactly 300 career senior games encompassing regular season, playoffs, and Mann Cup play, he amassed a remarkable 797 goals and 584 assists for 1381 points, good enough for a place in the top twenty professional players who ever played the game. If his career had been as long as others around him on this list, he would undoubtedly be ranked even closer to the top. Twice he led Victoria to the Mann Cup, as senior Canadian champions in 1979 and 1983.

In 1992-93, Alexander returned to play two seasons with the Buffalo Bandits of Major Indoor Lacrosse League, helping the team to the league championship both years.

Four times he represented Canada at the world field lacrosse championships, highlighted by inclusion on the All-World team and named best midfielder in 1986.

Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

For a more in-depth look at Kevin Alexander’s career, please see the February 2021 Curator’s Corner feature article here: