This is the third of a series pertaining to player and administration involved with the Dodge City Legend, a former summer professional basketball team that played at the Civic Center for eight seasons. The Legend won three USBL titles and six regular season titles during the franchise's run.
This Dodge City Legend player was with the organization for parts of the first four years of existence, but when people who lived vicariously with the team mention the name Alvin Jefferson, the word "quiet" comes to many people.
Jefferson was the quiet and humble post player who tried to make everyone smile on and off the court with his demeanor.
"I was in church a lot, and I think that has a lot to deal with my attitude," Jefferson said. "People ask why I could play so hard with a smile on my face and I have to contribute that to my religious background."
It was also an attitude that sometimes made Jefferson misunderstood. It helped him fit into the community, but it also made other professional teams leery of him that labeled him soft.
That label came to a head the night before the 2003 USBL championship game against the Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs, when then head coach Cliff Levingston had a heart-to-heart discussion with Jefferson about his lack of aggressive play on the boards.
Jefferson responded with a 29-point, 12-rebound performance, as well as a defensive presense not seen for the Legend before to lead the team to a 99-98 victory over the ValleyDawgs in the championship game.
"Being more aggressive in the championship game opened a lot of doors," Jefferson said. "I have to thank Cliff to try to instill that in me. I have always tried to be more of a 'team-oriented' player where instead of me shooting the ball, I would give the ball to one of my teammates. It definitely helped my career for the better."
The door that opened was to the Harlem Globetrotters, where he spent the 2003 season with the North American college tour.
The memories were different for Jefferson than after the 2000 season, when he was a member of the inaugural league champion Legend and he admits there was some culture shock.
"It was definitely different from Georgia," Jefferson said. "I just learned to adjust and I ended up loving my time in the southwest. It was like playing in college. It was pretty much an unbeatable chemistry there. Teams knew when Dodge City was coming to town, they were probably going to lose that game."
Jefferson's time after the Globetrotters was spent going through most of the minor league squads in the U.S., including stints with the USBL's Nebraska Cranes and the rival-Kansas Cagerz after his time with the Legend.
Page 2 of 2 - The post player has been out of basketball for three years and is now working in the Georgia Prison System as a guard.
"I'm still in pretty good shape," Jefferson said. "I wouldn't mind playing in the NBA; but I have realized that the opportunity probably isn't going to happen; but if it ever does, then I'll be ready."
Jefferson said he really enjoyed the parades and the community's openness to the Legend while he was with a member of the squad. He was able to take a little bit of southwest Kansas flavor back to his home state of Georgia.
"I went to some of the clubs there and they had us do the chicken dance. I had no idea was the chicken dance was," Jefferson said. "Another memory is some of us getting dressed up as a bunch of cowboys.
"It was a family-oriented place and very family-oriented place and they always supported me. Plus we always won."