Timothy Alexander is a well-known figure when it comes to the #FreeUAB movement. His name will be attached to one of the wildest stories in major college athletics for years to come. The rise, elimination, and reinstatement of UAB football is unprecedented, and Alexander has taken on the role of spearheading the efforts of students on the campus.
"It's been a very humbling experience," he said. "I embrace that role, because it's not about me. It's about UAB football, bowling, and rifle. It's about UAB as a whole. It's about the legacy that Gene Bartow fought for."
As crazy as that narrative is, it does not match the one of his own life. Alexander faced many obstacles to reach his present state at UAB.
Alexander grew up in Center Point, Alabama, and went to Erwin -- now Center Point -- High School. He began playing football at the age of five and continued playing through high school and was an impressive receiver from the tight end position.
However, the foundation of his life began to shift dramatically in his high school years. His house burned down. His brother was killed in a car accident. And finally, after one of the greatest games of his life during his senior year at Erwin, tragedy struck again. He planned to travel to Legion Field to participate in the festivities of the Magic City Classic -- an annual football game between state rivals Alabama A&M and Alabama State.
Alexander never made it there, and was involved a serious wreck of his own. He was paralyzed from the neck down and has been in a wheelchair ever since.
There were dark times, to be sure, but Alexander relied on his faith in God to press on, and decided to enroll at UAB. He introduced himself to new head coach Garrick McGee in 2013 and has been heavily involved with the football program since that day.
Today, he wears jersey #87, and is an active member of the team. He attends every practice, every workout, and every meeting.
"I'm very close with them. I'm out there with them each and every morning. I talk to them," Alexander said.
That is the condensed version of Timothy Alexander's story.
More recently, he was invited to speak at Alabama Power regarding a health initiative to share his story, and the company was so impressed that it decided to produce a documentary through its news outlet, Alabama NewsCenter.
Alexander had one condition before going through with the short film. He did not want the focus to be present-day Timothy Alexander. He wanted the viewer to learn how his present-day self got to that point.
"Only if we can talk about my life before football," he said. "If we can talk about my brother and the hurdles that I had to face to get to this point."
The documentary details Alexander's life with interviews with a multitude of people that have been major parts of his life and walks the viewer through what is described above. It gives insight and detail into some of the key components that the average person does not know about him.
A month of interviews later, the documentary was finalized and released. It can be seen at this link or below.
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