At 69 years old, Alex English has this physical status:
English attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia from 1972 to 1976. He started every game over a four-year career and was arguably the first African-American sports star at the school. He scored a record 1,972 points and was only the third player at the school to record over 1,000 rebounds and connect on better than 50% of his field-goal attempts. English was selected to two independent All-America teams in 1975 and 1976. In the academic realm, English "developed interests that he still maintains in art, sculpture, literature, and, especially poetry." He graduated with a bachelor's degree in English in 1976.
English was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 1976 NBA draft with the 23rd pick. Playing behind notable wings such as Bob Dandridge, Junior Bridgeman, and Brian Winters, English struggled to break into coach Don Nelson’s rotation. Despite this, English showed promise during the 1978 NBA Playoffs, averaging 13.4 points per game (third highest of all Bucks players that postseason) off the bench while helping the Bucks past the Suns in the first round, before losing to the Nuggets in a seven game western conference semifinals series.
Frustrated with a lack of playing time, English signed with the Indiana Pacers as a free agent after the 1977–78 season. English became a starter in Indiana and began to establish a reputation as a scorer, averaging 16 points per game during the 1978–79 season on another rebuilding team.
English was traded to the Denver Nuggets midway through the 1979–80 season for George McGinnis, a former Pacers star from their ABA days. Though coming off of an All-Star season in 1978–79, McGinnis was only a shadow of his former self and was out of the league by 1982. English went on to become a star player for the Nuggets.
In his first full season with the Nuggets in 1980–81, English averaged a then-career high 23.8 points.
In the 1981–82 season, English averaged 25.4 points and the team advanced to postseason play. He earned a position on the All-Star Team and All-NBA Second Team. The following year, in 1982–83, English won the league scoring title with an average of 28.4 points per game, while teammate Kiki Vandeweghe placed second averaging 26.7 points. Then in 1983–84 English placed fourth in the league in scoring.
In the 1984–85 season English raised his scoring average to 27.9 points to pick up some of the slack from Kiki Vandeweghe's departure. Denver won its division and secured the second seed in the Western Conference. In the 1985 playoffs, English averaged 30.2 points as the Nuggets defeated the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz to meet the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, where they would fall to the eventual NBA-champion Lakers in five games. English suffered a right thumb injury in Game 4, which required surgery and rendered him unable to play for the rest of the series. With the Nuggets already dealing with injuries to other players, English's injury was thought by some to have nearly ensured a Laker victory in the series. English later stated in a 2006 interview that "I think that if I had not broken my thumb [...] we had a chance to beat the Lakers."
English recorded his career-best average of 29.8 points per game in the subsequent 1985–86 season, finishing third in the league behind Atlanta Hawks Dominique Wilkins and Utah Jazz Adrian Dantley. In the 1986 NBA All-Star Game, English set his All-Star career-high by scoring 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting in 16 minutes off the bench for the West squad. During the 1986 NBA playoffs, English led the Nuggets past the Trail Blazers in the first round. In the Western Conference Semifinals, English averaged 29.2 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in a six game series loss to the eventual western conference champion Rockets. In the final game of the series, on May 8, 1986, English tied his own Nuggets single-game playoff points record with 42 during a 126-122 double overtime loss.
In 1988, English received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his community service efforts.
After the 1989–90 season, in which English's scoring average dipped to 17.9 and he largely struggled to maintain his level of play compared to previous seasons, English became a free agent, and the Nuggets elected not to re-sign him.
At age 36, English signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks where he once again played off the bench, this time averaging just under 10 points per game. He played his final NBA game in 1991 for the Mavericks.
No other NBA team signed English for the 1991–1992 season, and after a stint in Italy with Basket Napoli, English ended his playing career.
When English left the Denver Nuggets, he was the holder of nearly every team record, including most career points (21,645), assists (3,679), games (837) and minutes (29,893) in a Nuggets uniform, along with the highest career scoring average with the team (25.9) of any player. The Nuggets retired English's number 2 jersey in 1992. As of 2019, English's career 25,613 points place him 19th on the NBA's all-time career scoring list. While in Denver, English made the NBA All-Star Team eight times and the All-NBA Second Team three times. During his Nuggets tenure, the team made the NBA playoffs nine consecutive times and won two Midwest Division titles.
English retired with NBA career averages of 21.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He was the first NBA player to score 2,000 points in eight consecutive seasons, and he has the distinction of being the top NBA scorer in the 1980s. English was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997.
English began his coaching career in the National Basketball Development League (now called the NBA G League) as the head coach of the North Charleston Lowgators in the 2001–02 season. The Lowgators tied for the best record during the regular season and were eliminated in the championship series during the playoffs.
Before the 2002-03 NBA season, English joined the coaching staff of the Atlanta Hawks. The following year, he was hired by the Philadelphia 76ers as an assistant coach.
English then joined the Toronto Raptors in 2004 to serve as assistant coach and director of player development. On June 5, 2009, it was announced that English would stay with the Raptors as an assistant coach. On July 13, 2011, with the team heading in a new direction after the hiring of new head coach Dwane Casey, English was not given a new contract, and his services were not retained.
On January 13, 20102, English was added to the Sacramento Kings coaching staff under head coach Keith Smart. On June 5, 2013, new Kings coach Michael Malone announced that the 2012–13 assistant coaches, including English, would not be retained for the 2013–14 season.