Connecting You With AK Athletes Outside the 907

The Alaska Sports Blog is sponsored by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame and provides daily updates on local athletes outside the state. The blog was created in 2009 to fill a void of media coverage once Alaskans left the 907 area code. Former Anchorage Daily News sports editor and Alaska Press Club award winner Van Williams has been with the blog since the beginning and written more than 2,800 stories on some 500 Alaska athletes.

Follow us on Twitter @AKsportshall and Facebook.

Click here to read more about Van Williams and the Alaska Sports Blog.

August 31, 2016

13966753_1472173468.5311A week ago, Lorrie Clifford of Eagle River needed a machine to help her breathe.

Thankfully now she’s able to do that on her own.

The 25-year-old Alaska athlete continues to make slow strides in her recovery after fracturing her vertebrae in a violent vehicle crash last week while on vacation in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Clifford, of Chugiak High fame, remains at the Queens Medical Center and her family is posting updates on her condition on her GoFundMe page, which has raised $33,950 in the last seven days to offset medical costs.

Two days ago, nurses took Clifford outside for a breath of fresh air. Yesterday she sat up and with help sat on the edge of her hospital bed for 10 minutes.

“She is working on cutting her oxygen down baby steps last few days,” the family wrote.

The goal is to get Clifford out of the hospital and into a rehabilitation center.

The family has been overwhelmed with the amazing support Clifford has received since news of her accident became known in Alaska [where she went to high school] and Oregon [where she went to college].

“Thanks gain for your posts, thoughts, prayers,” the family wrote. “It all helps keep Lorrie strong!”

A flag football and basketball all-star for Chugiak, Clifford went on to become a starting guard at Western Oregon University from 2009 to 2013. Then she discovered rugby.

Clifford has been a member of the Team USA 7s national club since 2013 and played a key role during qualifying to help the Americans advance to the Olympics, although she wasn’t named to the final roster that went to Rio.

Nonetheless, Clifford’s athletic career has been an inspiration to many Alaskans.

Even from her hospital bed, she continues to be a beacon of light in her darkest time.

Her family discovered a bible verse on a Post-it note in her wallet. It read:

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

“She read it before every game,” her family wrote. “now I hope she can continue to read it and find that same strength to keep pushing everyday through this difficult journey.”

August 30, 2016

Jeff Overbaugh football

Jeff Overbaugh

Jeff Overbaugh’s NFL dream won’t come true in Los Angeles this year.

The Rams today released more than a dozen players, including the undrafted Anchorage long snapper out of San Diego State as the deadline looms for NFL teams to trim their rosters down to 53 players.

“My time with the Rams was incredible,” Overbaugh told me. “It was an awesome experience to meet so many legendary Rams players, past and present.”

The Alaskan played in three preseason games with the Rams.

There’s a chance the rookie could still land with another NFL team. He told the Alaska Dispatch News that he will perform a workout for another club Friday.

Overbaugh, of Service High fame, was perfect on all 510 career snaps on field goals, punts and extra points at San Diego State.

There is no question he can get the job done, however, at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds he is considered an undersized lineman by NFL standards.

Yet, NFL teams remain interested.

He joined a Rams team that already had an established long snapper, which only drove Overbaugh to soak up as much knowledge as possible about the position.

“Learning and playing in a pro style scheme was a great experience,” he said. “Long snappers are rarely ever kept as practice squad players.”

Allison Leigh Volleyball

Allison Leigh

It didn’t take Allison Leigh of Palmer long to make her presence felt.

Back on the volleyball court for Quinnipiac University, the senior middle hitter was instrumental on both sides of the ball as the Bobcats won three of four matches at the La Salle Invitational in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The 3-1 start is the best for Quinnipiac since becoming a NCAA D1 program in 1998. The three wins also matched the team’s win total from all of last year.

Leigh, of Colony High fame, returned to the lineup after missing almost all of last season with an injury and made her presence felt offensively and defensively.

She led the Bobcats in hitting percentage (.354) with 32 kills in 65 attempts and only nine errors, while also leading the team in blocks with 14.

Leigh, who came into the year ranked fifth in Quinnipiac history in career blocks with 286 after only two full seasons, reached the 300-block plateau in the final match of the weekend against Morgan State, when she added 10 kills in only 14 attempts.

For her excellent effort, Leigh was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week.

August 28, 2016

Ruthy Hubard basketball

Ruthy Hubard

Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks has seemingly stepped right into a significant role with the University of Oregon women’s basketball team.

The 6-foot-4 freshman forward logged major minutes and displayed delightful defensive skills in Saturday’s exhibition doubleheader against Spanish club teams in Barcelona. She started the first game and delivered a double-double in the second game.

Granted, this isn’t Pac-12 play, but her performance demonstrated her ability to play with the Ducks.

Hebard, of West Valley High fame, showcased her prowess on the glass and on defense to help Oregon win the first game 70-36 over Joventut Le Corts.

She was especially strong in the first half when she collected nine rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. She finished the game with 10 rebounds.

Oregon beat CB Claret 87-39 in the second game.

Hebard bagged 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds.

August 27, 2016

Caleb Holley football

Caleb Holley

It’s been only two games with his new team, but Anchorage’s Caleb Holley has made an immediate impact with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The 6-foot-3 wide receiver hauled in five receptions for 80 yards in last night’s 33-25 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League.

Holley, of East High fame, now has 12 catches for 145 yards in two games.

He is averaging 12.1 yards per reception.

Holley is believed to be the first Alaskan to play in the CFL in 20 years.

He is coming off this summer’s 23-touchdown, championship season with the Sioux Falls Storm of the Indoor Football League.

Before that he flirted with the NFL for nearly two years as a member of the Buffalo Bills practice squad.

August 26, 2016

Lorenzo Froehle soccer

Lorenzo Froehle

Lorenzo Froehle of Anchorage is adjusting to life in the big city after a few weeks at Manhattan College in New York.

“It was definitely hard in the beginning. I definitely struggled at first because I was homesick, but now I’m loving it here,” he told The Riverdale Press.

“I don’t call home much because I heard it makes it much harder to adjust to the New York life when you do that, so I just shoot my family a text every once in a while. I try to stay a little distant right now. But I just love that you are never going to be bored here. If you’re bored, then it’s your fault, you know?”

But he’s not in New York City to sightsee – he’s there to play soccer.

The freshman midfielder made his debut for Manhattan tonight in a 3-0 loss to Temple in NCAA D1 action in Philadelphia. He entered the match in the 57th minute.

Froehle, of Bartlett High fame, also saw playing time in exhibition games during the preseason. Right away, he realized he wasn’t in the Cook Inlet Conference anymore.

“Alaska soccer right now is at Level 1 and Division I soccer is Level 5 so I’m trying to get to Level 5,” he said. “But it’s one step at a time.”

His coach, Jorden Scott, is enjoying the determination of his new player.

“He went on for 15 minutes and you could see his head was spinning,” Scott told the newspaper. “So I pulled him out, gave him a quick water and said, ‘It’s fun isn’t it?’ Then he looked at me and said, ‘Wow, that’s quick.’ Then I put him back on, and that’s what it’s going to take. But he has a desire to be better and that’s all I ask.”

Scott took a chance on signing Froehle when few NCAA D1 teams would.

August 24, 2016

Lorrie Clifford rubgy

Lorrie Clifford

With an awesome athletic resume that has stretched a decade and included a stint on this year’s Team USA women’s rugby team, Lorrie Clifford of Eagle River had an aura of invincibility.

But even our strongest people are vulnerable to accidents.

Clifford, 25, was involved in a violent vehicle accident over the weekend in Hawaii and is now in an intensive care unit at a Honolulu hospital.

“Her C4 and C5 vertebrae were fractured in a vehicle collision, and are now placing a dangerous pressure on her spinal cord. Her years of hard work and training are ultimately the reason she survived,” her family wrote on Clifford’s GoFundMe page.

“Lorrie has a passion for life. She is strong, independent, humble, beautiful and determined. She has a drive that has pushed her through challenges most people wouldn’t have the willpower to overcome,” her family wrote. “Her body truly is her temple, and she has utilized sports and physical activity as a coping mechanism her whole life. This is her gift. She has accomplished more in her 25 years than most will in a lifetime.

“But the thing is, she was meant to accomplish so much more.”

Clifford, of Chugiak High fame, played a key role in helping Team USA rugby qualify for the Olympics. She started many of the matches the team played in qualifying tournaments, and even scored points, but was left off the final roster that went to Rio Games in Brazil.

She has been a member of the national rugby team since 2013 after wrapping up her college basketball career at Western Oregon University, where she was a four-year starting guard from 2009 to 2013. Before that she was an all-conference flag football and basketball player for the Chugiak Mustangs.

Clifford will soon be moved to a long-term treatment facility.

“In time we are hoping there, she will be able to recover some feeling and movement throughout her body, and be able to continue doing what she loves, and spreading her gift,” her family wrote. “Lorrie’s passion shines through her and lights up our entire family. She is an inspiration to every life she touches, and deserves every opportunity to continue to do so. She has quite the journey behind her, and an even longer one in front. She is a blessing to our family and to everyone in her world, and any contribution to her recovery is appreciated.”

In 24 hours, Clifford’s campaign raised more than $7,000 from 70 personal contributions.

August 23, 2016

Brandon Pili football

Brandon Pili

Exposure is tough to come by for high school football players from Alaska. If college coaches don’t see you play, they don’t know who you are.

Brandon Pili of Anchorage made a point of getting his name out there.

This summer the 6-foot-4, 310-pound all-conference senior defensive lineman from Dimond High traveled to Seattle to participate in a series of camps with the hope of impressing coaches from the University of Washington.

It worked.

“Coach Strausser told me I was hiding in Alaska,” Pili told “People don’t really get to see me.”

The Washington coaches liked Pili so much they talked about moving him to offensive line to find him a spot on the Pac-12 team.

“If that’s what it takes to get a scholarship, that’s what I’ll play,” Pili said.

“I’m hoping they do offer and that would mean a lot — it would be a huge offer. If they offered me it would be the first D1 offer for me and, even if other offers came, I would still cherish that first offer.”

Washington is among a handful of Pac-12 teams showing interest in the Alaska teenager. Others schools recruiting him from that FBS conference include Washington State, Oregon and Utah.

Allison Leigh VolleyballThe Quinnipiac University volleyball team has welcomed back a big piece of the puzzle.

Middle hitter Allison Leigh of Palmer has returned for her third season with NCAA D1 school in Hamden, Connecticut, after missing last year with an injury.

“Allison’s return from injury has been such a blessing,” Quinnipiac coach Kris Czaplinski told me.

The 6-foot-3 playmaker is a premier presence at the net.

Leigh, of Colony High fame, ranks No. 5 on Quinnipiac’s all-time list with 286 blocks. She had 10 blocks, including five solo, against Holy Cross before her injury.

“Her presence in the middle is such a stabilizing force,” Czaplinski said. “Opposing teams have to game plan around her, which opens up our offense to have a solo block on them.”

Leigh’s block total ranks second among Quinnipiac players who played their whole careers at the D1 level. The school made the move in 1998.

The Alaskan has also slammed 430 career kills in 66 matches.

She got off to a strong start with 28 kills in three matches on a .348 attack percentage before she got hurt. Against Bryant, she delivered eight kills on 20 attempts with zero hitting errors.

“Not only does she have great talent, but who she is as a person makes coaching her that much better,” Czaplinski said.

August 22, 2016

Iziah Sherman Newsome BasketballIziah Sherman-Newsome of Anchorage has agreed to play college basketball next season for a school in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

The 6-foot-4 guard has committed to Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia in Canada for his final two seasons.

Simon Fraser plays in the same league as UAA and UAF. The team is scheduled to come through Alaska in early February.

Sherman-Newsome, of Bartlett High fame, averaged 11.1 points and 3.4 rebounds last season at Laramie County Community College in Wyoming.

August 21, 2016

Aaliyah Lewis soccer

Aaliyah Lewis

The Southwestern Athletic Conference announced its preseason soccer team and the first team included two Lewis sisters.

Senior Aaliyah Lewis and junior Ariela Lewis of Anchorage were picked among the top players in the NCAA D1 league for the third straight season.

The twins rank 1-2 in career scoring for Alabama State.
Aaliyah Lewis, of Dimond High fame, is one of the best forwards in the SWAC and a former two-time conference player of the year.

She is the school’s all-time leader with 45 goals, 24 assists and 116 points in 60 games.

Ariela Lewis, of Dimond High fame, is a midfielder who rebounded beautifully off a knee injury that forced her to miss the 2014 season.

Ariela Lewis soccer

Ariela Lewis

Last year she led the team with 13 goals and 10 assists.

She ranks No. 2 on the school’s all-time scoring list 28 goals, 19 assists and 75 points in 39 games.

Together, they are top sister scoring act in NCAA D1 soccer.

They have also combined for 19 game-winning goals.

kristie-elaine-alora-1When Kirstie Elaine Alora of the Philippines qualified for the Olympics in taekwondo, parents Pablito and Marilou of Southwest Alaska naturally wanted to go watch their daughter compete at the Rio Games. It’s a lot of money to travel that far, though.

That’s when Peter Pan Seafoods helped make reality another Olympic dream.

The Alaska fish cannery picked up the family’s airfare to Texas, where they then flew to Brazil.

“We are very proud of our daughter. These are the Olympics and not every athlete could qualify for these Games,” the father told the Philippine Star. “Everywhere me and my wife go in Alaska, we look like stars ourselves. Everybody wants to shake our hands. In fact, our production and plant managers printed a picture of Elaine and posted it everywhere in the cannery.”

August 20, 2016

Caleb Holley football

Caleb Holley

Caleb Holley of Anchorage tonight made his debut in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

In doing so he is believed to be the first Alaskan to play in the CFL in 20 years.

The 25-year-old wide receiver hauled in five catches for 80 yards – both team highs – in a 53-7 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Holley, of East High fame, signed with Saskatchewan earlier this month.

A month ago, he capped a tremendous season in the Indoor Football League by helping the Sioux Falls Storm win the United Bowl championship. The 6-foot-3 wideout scored 23 touchdowns in 13 games.

Holley is among an elite crowd of Alaskans to play in the CFL.

Here are some of the others:

Nick Mystrom Anchorage [West] PK Memphis 1995, 1996
David Killpatrick Anchorage [West] LB Edmonton 1995
Delvin Myles Anchorage [Bartlett] DB Winnipeg 1996, 1997
Caleb Holley Anchorage [East] WR Saskatchewan 2016

August 19, 2016

Malia Lyken

Malia Lyken

Only a freshman, Malia Lyken of Anchorage carries herself with confidence on the soccer field.

You can’t help but notice. It didn’t take long for her teammate at Northern Arizona University to figure it out either.

The reigning Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year scored a goal in her college debut after she converted a penalty kick in the 84th minute of a 4-1 loss to Utah Valley in NCAA D1 action.

“Getting my first goal and the first season goal felt awesome,” she told me.

Lyken, of Dimond High fame, is coming off a 25-goal senior season.

She didn’t know she would take the PK until after her NAU teammates picked her for the shot. They told her to go for it.

Lyken buried a low line drive to the right side of the net, outsmarting the keeper who guessed left.

The goal validated that she could play at the D1 level.

“To me, this means that I know I score at the highest level and it makes me want to score more goal this season,” she said. “With penalty kicks, you have to focus, relax and know where you are going to place it before you set the ball on the PK line.”

August 18, 2016

Daryn Colledge football

Daryn Colledge

After playing in the NFL for nine years, veteran offensive lineman and former Super Bowl champion Daryn Colledge of North Pole walked away from the game in 2014.

He wasn’t going to retire from life and assumed he would find work using his communications degree from Boise State University. However, he realized that wasn’t for him.

The National Guard was more his speed.

“I came from a business where you’re in a fight all the time, and it’s a physical team thing. I didn’t find that in the normal day-to-day life,” he told an Army news story. “Then I saw that being a soldier would keep me hands-on, active and keep me in that team environment that I craved and needed so much.”

Colledge, of North Pole High fame, joined the National Guard this spring.

The 34-year-old millionaire played for the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins. He won the Super Bowl XLV with the Packers in 2011.

His family has military ties and he has long supported U.S. troops as an NFL player.

After becoming a Super Bowl champion, he visited the USS Kearsarge with the Packers while it was deployed to the Middle East.

“The reason we get to live out our dream and do what we do, is because of what all of you do every day,” Colledge said in 2011. “I am honored to be here, and I thank you for allowing me to see the great work you do every day.”

Colledge is currently training as a Black Hawk helicopter mechanic at Fort Eustis in Virginia.

“Mechanics are lucky enough to get to serve over 60 days a year, and I plan on filling all of those days plus the opportunities to volunteer for other missions, like fire suppression and search and rescue,” he said. “For me, it’s not just a hobby, I’ll be in there full time if they allow me.”

August 16, 2016

Janay DeLoach track

Janay DeLoach

There are no off-nights at the Olympics.

Long jumper Janay DeLoach of Fairbanks was not at her best in tonight’s competition at the Rio Games in Brazil, finishing 13th out of 38 of the world’s best women.

Her best mark of 21 feet, 4 inches came on the second of her three jumps. She missed out on advancing to the finals by a mere 1.5 inches.

For context, she jumped 22-9 to finish third at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

DeLoach, of Eielson High fame, is the defending Olympic bronze medalist in the event after finishing third at the London Games in 2012.

She is a completely different jumper today after being forced last year to switch her traditional takeoff because of an injury to her left leg. She now jumps off her right leg.

Despite the technique change the recent Alaska Sports Hall of Fame flirted with a spot in the Olympic finals, on her off-foot, having an off-night.

August 15, 2016

Conor Feckley football

Conor Feckley

Anchorage’s Conor Feckley made only one start at quarterback for the University of Dubuque last year, but he made it count.

The 6-footer completed 17-of-31 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-21 victory over Coe College that helped Dubuque secure the Iowa Conference championship.

“That game was a lot of fun,” he told me. “It was a great team win and a game I’ll never forget.”

Now a junior, Feckley enters the NCAA D3 season as the team’s No. 1 quarterback.

This will be his third season with the Spartans so that familiarity with the playbook should give him an advantage when it comes to the 21-year-old winning the starting job.

“We run a type of offense that takes time to learn and execute correctly,” he said.

Feckley, of West High fame, looks to lead a team that lost 27 seniors from an 8-3 squad.

He’s looking for progress, not perfection.

“We have a very young team with new players but with that said, we have a lot of young talent,” he said. “Last season we had a very close team and that had a lot to do with the seniors keeping everyone locked in mentally at all times.”

Off the gridiron, Feckley is a Dean’s List student with a 3.68 GPA as a criminal justice major.

“I’m leaning toward probation and parole, but I would love to coach football someday more than anything,” he said.

August 14, 2016

Jeff Overbaugh football

Jeff Overbaugh

Close to 90,000 fans packed into the Coliseum last night to help welcome the Los Angeles Rams back to the NFL.

They also watched Jeff Overbaugh of Anchorage get his first taste of professional football.

The undrafted rookie long snapper out of San Diego State played on special teams for the Rams in a 28-24 preseason victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

The crowd of 89,140 was highest attendance of any preseason game in NFL history.

“It was awesome,” he told me. “It was a tremendous experience to be a part of the Rams return to Los Angeles. The atmosphere was incredible. It was surreal to play in the Coliseum in front of nearly 90,000 people.”

The homecoming even featured a made-for-Hollywood ending after the Rams scored the go-ahead touchdown inside the final two minutes.

“Have to love a comeback win like that,” he said.

Overbaugh, of Service High fame, is in competition with another long snapper to make the final roster for the Rams. The 6-foot, 235-pounder has three more preseason games to impress the coaches.

As for his first test in the trenches, he felt like he held his own.

“The physicality wasn’t much different than what I am used to,” said Overbaugh, who wears jersey No. 42. “I felt prepared for the game, but always, I know I can improve.”

August 13, 2016

Tyler Wells basketball

Tyler Wells

The Concordia Cavaliers are stepping into a new era and they want to take Tyler Wells of Fairbanks with them.

The 6-foot guard has signed with the college in Portland, Oregon, as it begins its third year of a three-year transition to the NCAA D2 level. The school moved up from NAIA.

Wells, of Monroe Catholic High fame, wrapped up his career at Western Wyoming Community College, where he helped lead the team to a 43-17 record in two seasons.

Last year as a sophomore, he made 18 starts and averaged 7.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

“We are incredible excited Tyler chose to continue his collegiate career at Concordia,” coach Brad Barbarick told the school’s website. “Tyler is a consummate leader that finds ways to help his team win.”

He expects Wells to compete for a starting job.

“He has the ability to play with the ball and as a two-guard and we expect him to push for major minutes right away,” the coach said.

In high school, Wells was part of a Monroe Catholic team that played in four state championship games and won three of them.

He was twice named all-state in Alaska.

Wells joins three other new faces in the Concordia recruiting class.

“Tyler, along with our other four newcomers, are major pieces in helping CU basketball in our goals of becoming an elite program of NCAA DII,” Barbarick said.

August 11, 2016

Chad Nading baseball

Chad Nading

Chad Nading of Anchorage hasn’t been involved in a playoff race in years.
The 28-year-old relief pitcher now finds himself right in the middle of one in the American Association, an independent professional baseball league that plays 100 games in the regular season.

With 24 to play, the Wichita Wingnuts lead the Laredo Lemurs by 5.5 games.

“This is the best group of guys I’ve played with in professional baseball and manager Pete Rose Jr. is the ultimate player’s coach and makes baseball free and easy every day,” he told me.

Nading, of East High fame, has pitched six times in the last eight days. No more evidence is needed to prove how valuable this guy is to Wichita’s bullpen.

The 6-foot-6 flamethrower has pitched in each of the last three days, including tonight’s one-out hold to end the eighth inning in a 9-7 win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

“My velocity has been 93-97 mph with slider, curveball and changeup,” he said.

Nading has appeared in a career-high 30 games on the year, carding a 2.45 ERA in 29.1 innings.

Few people would have stuck with a sport like Nading did with baseball, which hasn’t always treated the Alaska ace well.

Early on, though, the game came easy.

At East, he was a two-time Cook Inlet Conference MVP in 2006 and 2005. With East Legion Post 34 he won a state title all four years he played and was named the State Tournament MVP and Top Pitcher award winner in 2006.

He was drafted in the 36th round by the Detroit Tigers in 2006, but opted to play college baseball. He signed with Oregon State but wound up pitching at Skagit Valley Community College. After one season he transferred to UNLV, where he pitched for two years and then was drafted in the 37th round by the Texas Rangers in 2009.

In 2010, he started his pro career in rookie ball with the San Diego Padres organization.

He bounced around independent leagues in 2011 and 2012.

In 2013, Nading participated in extended spring training with the Boston Red Sox.

In 2014, he went to Japan and played with the Ishikawa Million Stars.

He didn’t play last year.

“I have to tell you the last two years have been a real test for me as a baseball player and a person,” Nading said. “After leaving Japan I sat down and thought about what I really wanted to accomplish with the rest of my career.”

Meanwhile, he changed his pitching motion more than area codes. He was all over the place, searching for the right delivery. He found the right formula in Wichita.

“I have been through just about every arm slot and style since leaving high school in 2006, but lack of success has left me determined to find the real me and chase that success I’ve been desperate to feel,” Nading said.

August 10, 2016

Kamaka Hepa basketball

Kamaka Hepa

Arizona became the fifth school from the Pac-12 Conference to offer a scholarship to nationally ranked high school basketball player Kamaka Hepa of Barrow.

The Wildcats put in their offer today, joining Stanford, Oregon, Washington State and Utah as Pac-12 teams to recruit the 6-foot-9, national top-20 forward.

Oregon, Utah and Arizona finished 1-2-3 in the league and all three were ranked top 20 nationally last season.

Hepa put together a string of strong performances at this summer’s showcase events, such as the Nike EYBL, Pangos All-American Camp, Nike Elite 100 Camp and West Coast Elite 100 Camp, with the Portland Basketball Club.

Since then he has received 14 offers from major schools in made-for-TV conferences.

His signature moment in the EYBL came in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he helped the Portland Basketball Club go 3-1 against some of the best AAU clubs in the country.

In the game against Cal Supreme, Hepa was matched up against 6-9 Shareef O’Neal, son of former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal.

Hepa lit it up with 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocked shots in a 63-50 victory. O’Neal finished with just 11 points and two boards.

Hepa will be a junior at Class 6A Jefferson High in Portland, Oregon, after transferring from Barrow at the end of his sophomore year.

In his only two years in Alaska, Hepa was a two-time player of the year and led the Whalers to back-to-back Class 3A state titles.

August 9, 2016

Caleb Holley football

Caleb Holley

Just two weeks after he ended one football season, Caleb Holley of Anchorage has jumped back on the gridiron.

The 25-year-old wide receiver has signed a free-agent contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

On July 24, Holley capped his first season with the Sioux Falls Storm with a 55-34 victory over the Spokane Empire in the Indoor Football League’s United Bowl. He caught three passes, including his 23rd touchdown of the season.

Holley, of East High fame, hopes to catch on with the Roughriders.

Saskatchewan has the worst record in the CFL at 1-5 and ranks eighth out of nine teams in scoring with 128 points.

He spent parts of 2014 and 2015 on the practice squad of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills until he was carted off the field last summer with a major leg injury.

A few months later he was with the IFL’s Sioux Falls Storm. The team went 13-0 with him on the field, including 2-0 in the playoffs. He was among the league leaders in receiving scores and had one game with five touchdowns.

August 8, 2016

Beau Kitteridge Ultimate Frisbee

Beau Kitteridge

Already considered one of the most talented players in the American Ultimate Disc League, Beau Kittredge of Fairbanks is now the most decorated.

The two-time league MVP helped the Dallas Roughnecks beat the Seattle Cascades 33-27 over the weekend to claim the AUDL championship – the third straight for the Alaskan.

Kittredge, 34, won the previous two league titles with the San Jose Spiders before signing with Dallas this season.

The Roughnecks finished their inaugural season with a 17-0 record.

Kittredge, of Lathrop High fame, is the first AUDL player to win three consecutive championships.

“The superstars can’t win the game,” the Roughnecks captain told “The superstars do what they do. They go out and score points, control the disc, but you’re never going to win unless your depth comes out and makes big plays.”

Kittredge was named league MVP in 2015 and 2014.

August 7, 2016

Corey Cogdell-Unrein trapshooting

Corey Cogdell-Unrein

There is clutch under pressure, and there is Corey Cogdell-Unrein at the Olympics.

For the second time in the last three Olympics, the trapshooter from Palmer won a bronze medal after winning a do-or-die shootout.

At the Rio Games today the 29-year-old upset reigning world champion Fatima Galvez of Spain after Cogdell-Unrein hit her first shot and Galvez missed.

The situation mirrored how the Alaskan won her bronze medal at the Beijing Games in 2008.

On that day she was involved in a four-way shootout. After each of the first three shooters failed to hit the target, Cogdell-Unrein nailed it to claim the medal.

It was the 10th career major medal for Cogdell-Unrein dating back to 2007.

She owns two Olympic bronze medals, a Pan American bronze, a gold, silver and bronze from the World Cup, a gold from the Championship of the Americas and a gold and two bronze from U.S. National Championships.

August 6, 2016

Alev Kelter rugby and soccer

Alev Kelter

Alev Kelter of Eagle River made Olympic history on Saturday.

With rugby back at the Olympics for the first time since 1924, Kelter became the first American to convert a scoring try at the Summer Games in 92 years.

It’s also the first time women’s rugby has been played at the Olympics.

Kelter, of Chugiak High fame, supplied five points for Team USA in a 14-7 upset loss to Fiji in the opening game in Rio, Brazil.

Later in the day, she accumliated 14 points in a 48-0 victory over Columbia.

Through Day 1 of the Olympics, Kelter leads Team USA with 19 points.