Axel was born in Belgium on May 12, 1983. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft, becoming the first Belgian player to be drafted. He signed his first professional contract with RBC Verviers-Pepinster for the 2000-01 season in Belgium for four years. Axel became team captain at only 20 years old. He signed with the Real Madrid, Spain for the 2004-05 season where he has been playing until now.