Florida’s win over Tennessee wasn’t the only big news of the week as 2023 center Alex Condon announced his commitment to the Gators.
A few weeks ago Condon made the lengthy trek from his native Australia to Gainesville for a visit and was impressed with the vibe around the program and it didn’t take long for him to make his commitment to the Gators.
Condon currently plays for the NBA Global Academy in Australia, one of the networks of NBA Academies across the globe that identifies talent that they hope will one day play in the league. Condon is currently unranked by the recruiting services, and while his true list of offers is unknown, he was getting interest from Saint Mary’s and Utah–two teams who have had success recruiting Australian players in the past.
With Condon being unranked, this is definitely Todd Golden and his staff trusting their ability to not only identify talent, but develop it. This is also the case with current freshman Aleks Szymczyk who, like Condon, didn’t have much D1 interest but was taken by the staff due to potential. Having two project bigs on the roster next year will be somewhat of a controlled gamble, but clearly the staff has a high level of belief in their ability to identify and develop raw talent.
Taking Condon might also continue to develop the relationships with both NBA Academies and the ever-growing pipeline of talent from Australia. Even if Condon doesn’t end up being a star, the inroads made by giving Condon a huge opportunity now could help the Gators land more heralded Australian recruits in the future.
Measurements for Condon are different depending on where you look but a recent listing saw him at 6’11” and 176 pounds–and that matches the eye test. He is very tall–but extremely skinny. That is largely due to the fact that Condon has a very interesting story that doesn’t start with basketball. Condon is the son of a famous Australian Rules Football player named Damien Condon, and Alex followed his dad’s footsteps by competing in the sport and playing at a high level. In fact, Condon was a projected first round pick in the AFL, the world’s top Australian Rules Football league, before announcing his intentions to commit fully to basketball. If you’re not familiar with “Aussie Rules” it is similar to rugby, except it is far more wide open, free flowing, and fast. That means that to play you need to have incredible endurance and because of that, Condon is lean and fast–not exactly the frame he’ll hope to one day have in the SEC.
However, if you see how skinny Condon is and think he’s going to be weak, or soft–think again. Australian Rules Football is a brutal, physical game and Condon brings the toughness from that sport to basketball where he is fearless. Condon aggressively attacks the rim at every opportunity and doesn’t fear contact when battling thicker players for rebounds. Not only does he not fear contact, but he invites it. This is something that Florida’s staff will look to as a positive for his long term projection–if he tries to impose his will physically at 176 pounds–imagine him imposing his will with that same ferocity at 206 pounds or hopefully even more.
Skill wise there is still a lot for Condon to develop as well. Right now he’s at his best sprinting like a gazelle in transition but in the half court he needs to develop some skills with the ball and some finishing ability. He’s not a shooter, and he has struggled from the free throw line.
By all accounts Condon is a high character kid who works hard and stands at 6’11”, so Florida’s staff will love the journey of turning him into an SEC player.
Condon joins 6’9” forward Thomas Haugh in the Gators’ 2023 recruiting class.