Welcome to the our column, Pittsburgh Huskies Alumni Spotlight, where we catch up with Huskies players from years past to find out how the Huskies have helped them progress in both hockey and life.
This column’s featured alumni is Alexei Hooks. Alexei played seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Huskies, as a speedy forward. During his playing days with the Huskies, Alexei also served as a student coach at the 12U level. In 2019, Alexei was awarded a PAHL scholarship for his playing and academic achievements.
Alexei currently attends the Pennsylvania State University where he is studying in the Cybersecurity program.
Hello Alexei. What was your playing experience with the Pittsburgh Huskies?
I played seven seasons with the Huskies, from second year PeeWee through my final year of 18U eligibility. I was captain of our team in the second year of 18U. We were playoff bound every single season I played.
What have you been doing since leaving the Huskies organization?
First, you never really leave the Huskies organization. Once you are part of the family, you remain part of the family. For example, the Huskies give the alumni an opportunity to take the ice again as part of the annual alumni game. It happens every year and is always quite fun to be a part of and see a lot of familiar faces.
As for my playing days, after the Huskies, I started school at Penn State which didn’t leave as much time for hockey as I would have liked. I do plan on joining one of the student run leagues there once I am settled in.
What is you favorite memory with the Huskies?
I don’t have one particular memory as I had fun virtually the entire time I was part of the organization. I do believe that I am still making memories as a Husky, because I go to school and interact with numerous teammates that I used to play with, and we still have a great time with each other.
What one thing did you learn during your years with the Huskies?
I learned that having a family dynamic within a team makes the seasons a lot more fun, winning comes easier, and the friendships are life-long. The Huskies organization has also helped me become a better person, through coaches that connect real world situations to the game of hockey. I have had a number of times where I am doing a task and recall a positive memory as a Huskies player which relates to the task at hand.
Play with confidence! It will allow you to push yourself much more than playing without it.
What advice would you give to prospective Huskies players and their families?
Being a small organization, the Huskies can provide a lot of freedoms you won’t find elsewhere. For example, our team wanted to add a third jersey in my first year of 18U. A few of my teammates and I designed the jersey, handed the design over to my coach who presented it to the Huskies board for approval. Once approved, we were able to order and wear those jerseys within the same season as designing them.
The organization is a tight community of parents and kids who truly care about each other and the game, making it quite easy for projects like the third jerseys to take place.
Don’t forget to check out our previous Alumni Spotlights: