Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Meet the Men’s Basketball Team: Senior Jean Felix
By Taylor Whitson
UA Media Relations
If you’re looking for a sharpshooter who’s not afraid to take a shot, look no further than University of Alabama swingman Jean Felix. The Michael Jordan look-a-like (he wears number 23 and has a striking resemblance) from The Congo Republic in southern Africa is finishing up his career at the Capstone attempting to lead the Crimson Tide to its fifth straight NCAA Tournament birth. Jean Felix came to Alabama as a highly touted Junior College transfer after two seasons at Bevill State Community College in Jasper, Alabama. Before his stint in junior college Felix spent a year as a teenager living with his uncle in Paris where he could take his game to another level, then made his way to the United States where he played high school ball in Mobile and Birmingham. He graduated from Birmingham’s Central Park Christian...His full name is Jean Felix Moupegnov Boussiengue, but he shortened it for basketball to Jean Felix .. Recently I spoke with Jean Felix about growing up in Africa, his penchant for hitting the big shot and even asked him about his favorite food.
Favorite Comedy: Weekend at Bernies
Favorite Soccer Team: Brazil
Favorite number: of course Twenty-three
Favorite chant: Roll Tide Roll
Because of the lack of depth this team has, starting with the loss of Chuck Davis, what has the team done to stay focused on its ultimate goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament?
“Our goal has always been the same, and that is to win games, so that hasn’t changed. Personally, I have just had to step up my game and become more of a leader and just bring more to the table.”
Growing up in the Congo, what led you to basketball, and when did you realize that you were good enough to compete at this level?
“I started at a young age, and grew up around very athletic people who liked to be competitive so it took hard work to accomplish what you wanted. I was six when I started playing and after playing with much older guys for a while I felt like I could hang with them.”
Obviously you enjoy playing basketball, but growing up what other sports did you play?
“I played soccer a lot when I was younger. I also played some tennis and volleyball but of course I decided to stick with basketball and that seemed to be a good choice.”
You’ve made some pretty clutch shots since you came to Alabama; is there any one that sticks out more than the others?
“Of course, in basketball you take a lot of shots and they don’t always go in but you just have to keep shooting and have the confidence to know that eventually they’re going to go in, so it’s hard to think about one shot. If I had to pick one shot in particular it would have to be the one at the end of the game against Vanderbilt (in 2006) that helped us get to overtime.”
Growing up overseas, had you ever heard of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and, if not when did you hear your first “Roll Tide?”
“Well growing up in Africa you really didn’t hear that much about college sports in America so I really didn’t know about Alabama until I came to the United States. I guess I heard my first ‘Roll Tide’ when I transferred here to play.”
You’ve experienced three very different cultures growing up; so what is your favorite food and what is the most unusual thing you have ever eaten?
“My favorite food would have to be lasagna, I just like the way it tastes. And the most unusual thing I’ve ever eaten? It’s probably something you’ve never heard of and I don’t even know what it’s made out of.”