Volcano Vista's Alter commits to the University of the Philippines - Albuquerque Journal

Volcano Vista’s Alter commits to the University of the Philippines

Volcano Vista’s Sean Alter hangs from the rim after dunking in a January 2022 game against Rio Rancho. Alter announced his commitment to the UP Fighting Maroons on Sunday via Twitter. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

The state’s most physically imposing big man is headed east.

To the Far East.

Volcano Vista’s 6-foot-9 Sean Alter, who was integral as the Hawks won their second straight Class 5A state basketball championship earlier this month, has signed with what he described as the most prestigious college in the Philippines.

Alter announced Sunday on his Twitter account that he had committed to the University of the Philippines, just outside Manila.

“I met the coaches at a basketball summit in California last year,” Alter, 18, said in an interview with the Journal on Sunday night (Monday morning in Manila). “I felt like it was the best choice because I want to play pro ball after college, and starting in Asia really opens up all the doors to play in Korea, Japan or China. Playing in the (U.S.), no one would know who you are in Asia.”

Alter is half-Filipino. His mom is of Filipino descent.

His new school is a four-year college, and he said he would have five years of eligibility once his career begins.

Alter said he’s leaving Asia on Tuesday to return to New Mexico.

Alter said there were some collegiate options at the Division II level in the U.S., and he said he “probably could have walked on to a D-1 school.”

But he said he was happy with his decision, and said “people underestimate the basketball here. The competition is comparable to at least a lower-end Division I in the states.”

Alter was consistently an imposing presence for Volcano Vista at both ends of the floor last season. He finished the season averaging 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots per game, and shot 65% from the field. He will be playing for the UP Fighting Maroons, who play in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. It is called the University of the Philippines Dillman, located in Quezon City, on the outskirts of Manila.

He said he has plenty of family who still live in the Philippines. And turning pro someday, Alter said, has been on his mind for years.

“It’s been my intention,” he said, “ever since I came to Volcano. … I’m really excited to see what opportunities this college will get me.”

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