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 almost 4,000 stories on some 1,000 Alaska athletes.

Follow us on Twitter: @AKsportshall, Instagram: alaska_sports_hall, and Facebook.

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

January 19, 2019
Demietrius Preston media

Demietrius Preston

Anchorage’s Demietrius Preston thought he would post just a few highlight videos of his younger brother when he created his YouTube channel in 2011.

He ended up creating a go-to source for Alaska high school basketball.

Armed with a used camera his grandmother gave him, Preston turned his ‘wegotnextt’ mix-tape videos into a must-see attraction for players, fans and college coaches, racking up 925,000 views in eight years and providing much-needed exposure for Alaska players looking to go to the next level.

“In 2011, you barely knew what the other guy across town looked like. You had to go to the game to see people,” Preston told me. “Now, these videos are normal.”

Preston and Talkeetna’s Loudon Wilson, aka ‘AlaskanAthlete,’ are widely recognized as the best sports videographers in Alaska. They put players on the map.

Pretty soon, however, Preston will stop filming and start serving in the military.

The 30-year-old has joined the U.S. Air Force and will report to basic training in San Antonio, Texas. He plans to pursue a communications career with the Air Force, but it means he has to put ‘wegotnextt’ on the shelf for a while.

“I did not want to quit,” Preston said. “I’ve also always been passionate about making an impact and helping kids where I grew up.”

Preston, of Service High fame, played basketball and competed in track and field in high school. He was a star for the UAA track and field team, winning the conference long jump title and earning NCAA D2 All-American honors in 2010.

A year later he started his YouTube channel. Since then Preston has produced some 3,000 videos on hundreds of players.

“I think it’s cool how it’s helped connect people around the world with Alaska. People (in the Lower 48) are finally starting to connect the dots. There is a lot of hidden talent. It’s only going to get bigger regardless if I’m doing it or not.”

January 18, 2019
Steven Gustafson hockey

Steven Gustafson

Aquinas College hockey players Steven Gustafson and Mike Curran of Anchorage each produced points for the Saints in a 4-1 win over Michigan State in the NAIA.

It was the 12th time in 24 games this season that each Alaskan registered a point in the same game.

Both players helped Aquinas win the NAIA national title last season.

Gustafson, of West High fame, is a sophomore defenseman who has posted 8-10—18 totals in 20 games.

He leads all blue liners in goals and is tied for fourth on the team in assists.

Last season, Gustafson earned NAIA All-American honors and posted 10-21–31 totals in 35 games.

Mike Curran hockey

Mike Curran

Curran, of West High fame, is a sophomore forward who has collected 14-10—24 totals in 23 games.

He ranks second on the team in goals and twice has bagged 2-goal games. He is fourth in assists.

Curran was a late addition to the team last year and amassed 4-3–7 totals in 12 games.

Kirsten Watts hockey

Kirsten Watts

Chugiak’s Kirsten Watts assisted on a second-period power-play goal to help No. 4 Norwich University blank Salem State 8-0 and continue her most prolific scoring season for the NCAA D3 women’s hockey team.

The junior defenseman has five points in her last six games and bolsters career-best 4-6—10 totals in 16 games.

Her four goals are a career high and her six assists match her career-best total from her freshman season.

Watts, of Chugiak High fame, was a key component in Norwich’s NCAA national championship run last season. She owns 6-15—21 totals in 59 career games.

Her plus/minus ratio is +22 this season and +47 for her career.

January 17, 2019
Niko Fa'amasino football

Niko Fa’amasino

As flattered as Anchorage’s Niko Fa’amasino is to be compared to his older brother, he really wants to forge his own path.

“I want to make a name for myself and not only be known as Lui’s little brother,” he told me. “Not that there is anything wrong with it, but some people expect me to play just like him just because we are related. We are two different people and he has his own style of playing.”

Polynesian Bowl officials have recognized his style.

Fa’amasino, of West High fame, has accepted an invitation to participate in the Polynesian Bowl National Combine and Showcase, a three-day event in March in Las Vegas for top players from the Class of 2020, 2021 and 2022.

“I know there will be great competition there and I will try my best to do what I do and try to compete with these guys,” he said. “It will be a great experience.”

Fa’amasino’s older brother, Lui, was an all-state, 1,148-yard running back as a senior at West and led the Eagles to the 2013 state championship. He moved to linebacker at LA Harbor College and currently is playing at NCAA D1 New Mexico State.

Hoping to follow in those footsteps, Fa’amasino appears to be on his way. Last season the 220-pound junior rushed for 539 yards, including a career-best 206 against Bartlett in the semifinals to lead West to the state title game.

“I feel like I haven’t proved anything yet,” he said. “Getting at least one D1 offer would make me feel like I have proved something, but that would still make me feel like I need to work harder. I play football because I have so much passion for the game just like every other athlete out there who has love for the sport they play.”

He will be joined at Polynesian Bowl National Combine and Showcase by West teammate Dharen Montalbo.

“It is really important to have national representation for Alaska because we don’t get a lot of love from top-notch colleges out there,” Fa’amasino said. “We have a lot of great talent out here, so I think this is a great opportunity for me and Dhar to represent our family and ourselves, but to represent the state of Alaska. This is such a huge blessing.”

January 16, 2019
Tevin Bayne basketball

Tevin Bayne

Sitka’s Tevin Bayne scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half to lead Whatcom College back from a 12-point deficit in a 93-85 win over Bellevue in the NWAC.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore sank 7-of-10 field goals in the final 20 minutes and during one stretch scored eight straight points for his team. He also had seven second-half rebounds.

Bayne, of Sitka High fame, has reached double figures in all eight games since making his season debut on Dec. 14. He is averaging 14.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

His scoring and rebounding numbers are up from last season.

January 15, 2019
Christian Nidoy basketball

Christian Nidoy

Anchorage’s Christian Nidoy was a top-10 pick in this week’s Philippine Basketball Association D-League draft.

The 5-foot-8 pure point guard was picked seventh overall by Trinity, a newcomer to the development league.

A total of 61 players were picked from the field of 151 candidates in a draft that last 20 rounds.

Nidoy, of West High fame, left Alaska after graduation in 2013 and attended prep school at Impact Academy in Las Vegas before signing with Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.

From there, he went to the Philippines and played for Arellano University. At one point he averaged 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game. He scored a playoff high of 23 points.

The PBA D-League tips off next month.

January 13, 2019
Moses Miller basketball

Moses Miller

Moses Miller of Anchorage is a double threat for Southwestern Oregon Community College.

Depending on the situation, he could be a facilitator or a scorer. Some nights both.

Last week, the 6-foot-2 guard had 11 assists in one game and 31 points the next, showcasing a pass-first, pass-second game that’s hard to guard.

Miller, of East High fame, is averaging 17.1 points and 6.9 assists per game.

He ranks second in the NWAC in assists and has had a half dozen games with 9 or more, including a career-high 12.

His scoring is up to 24.8 points over his last four games, highlighted by his season-high 31 points that included a season-high five 3-pointers.

January 12, 2019
Andrew Shortridge hockey

Andrew Shortridge

Andrew Shortridge of Eagle River turned aside 24 of 25 shots and earned his second career assist as the No. 6 Quinnipiac hockey team beat Dartmouth 5-1 in Hamden, Connecticut.

The junior goalie earned the win in net, thanks in part to his assist on the go-ahead goal late in the second period. He also had an assist last season.

It was Shortridge’s 32nd career win, second among active Alaska goalies playing NCAA D1 hockey.

Minnesota senior Eric Schierhorn of Anchorage leads the way with 57.

Over the last two seasons, however, Shortridge has 19 wins compared to 14 for Schierhorn.

In 11 games this season, Shortridge has an 8-2-1 record with career highs in goals-against average (0.98) and save percentage (.961).

Felila Manu hockey

Felila Manu

There are few certainties in life, but Anchorage’s Felila Manu being on the ice for the Merrimack College women’s hockey team is one of them.

The senior defenseman has never missed a game in 127 appearances with the NCAA D1 team in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Manu, of East High fame, is durable, reliable and skillful.

The blue liner scored her seventh career goal and third of the season in a 5-4 loss at Vermont. Her goal came with 5:43 left in the third period and tied the game at 4-4.

Manu has delivered 7-22—29 totals in 127 career games. She has registered 15 assists in the last 57 games.

And she’s done it all playing both ways, taking shots and absorbing them as well.

Manu has blocked 137 shots over the last three seasons.

January 11, 2019
Emma Wuthrich hockey

Emma Wuthrich

Anchorage’s Emma Wuthrich of Boston University netted the go-ahead goal in the second period in a 5-3 upset over No. 8 Providence in Rhode Island.

The freshman forward scored an even-strength goal at the 10:37 mark to give Boston a 3-2 lead it would not relinquish.

It was her second goal of the season and increased her season totals to 2-2—4 in 22 games with the NCAA D1 Terriers.

All four of her points have come in the last 11 games, helping BU post an 8-2-1 record.

Wuthrich has won 68 faceoffs, including a season-high 17 against Boston College.

Mhar Caballa wrestling

Mhar Caballa

Eastern Oregon University wrestler Mhar Caballa of Kodiak is on a serious tear.

The 125-pound senior has won 20 straight matches and 33 of 37 overall this season.

He owns two tournament titles and is ranked No. 4 nationally in the NAIA.

Caballa, of Kodiak High fame, picked up his second tournament championship and scored one-fourth of his team’s 82 points at the Menlo Open in Atherton, California.

He finished 4-0, capped by a 4-3 decision in the title match.

Caballa has since won back-to-back matches in dual meets against North Idaho and Werner Pacific to run his winning streak to 20.

Earlier this season, he won the Battle of the Rockies in Great Falls, Montana. He also won a bronze at the Mike Clock Open in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Jared Brant wrestling

Jared Brant

Another Alaska wrestler at Eastern Oregon University is sophomore Jared Brant of Homer.

The 149-pounder also competed at the Menlo Open and had two wins, two byes and two losses.

Brant, of Homer High fame, also won two matches at the Battle of the Rockies and another match at the Mike Clock Open.

January 9, 2019
Alexia Novelli basketball

Alexia Novelli

Alexia Novelli of Wasilla scored a half dozen points in her team’s game-ending 14-2 run that catapulted Spokane to a 67-59 victory over Yakima Valley in the NWAC.

The 5-foot-11 freshman hit jump shots on three out of four possessions late in the fourth quarter, with the final one tying the game at 57-57 with 3:23 to play.

Novelli, of Colony High fame, finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.

She has reached double figures in six of the last seven games for Spokane (12-3).

Jacob Calloway basketball

Jacob Calloway

Jacob Calloway of Juneau grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds to go with nine points as he helped Southern Utah University snap a four-game losing streak with a 90-82 OT win over Weber State in the Big Sky.

The 6-foot-8 junior has reached double digits in rebounds only three times in 74 career games, highlighted by his career-high 12 boards his freshman season.

Calloway, of Thunder Mountain High fame, is known for his offense.

The sharpshooter has found his stroke this season with a career-best 3-point percentage of .408, which leads Southern Utah and ranks No. 10 in the Big Sky.

Improved shooting has helped Calloway score 123 points in 20 games, compared to 140 points in 30 games last season.

He’s also knocking on the door of the 500-point club, needing just six more.

January 8, 2019
Jalen Terry basketball

Jalen Terry

A 3-pointer by Seward’s Jalen Terry kickstarted a 10-0 run inside the final minute of the game that propelled Hardin-Simmons University to a 98-95 win over LeTourneau in Longview, Texas.

The 6-foot-7 senior scored all 13 of his points in the second half, capped by a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left that cut a seven-point deficit to 95-91.

Terry, of ACS fame, drained 3-for-6 from downtown to go with six rebounds.

He is averaging 12.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game this season.

Caleb Hopkins wrestling

Caleb Hopkins

Campbell University wrestler Caleb Hopkins of Palmer won the consolation final to place fifth at the Franklin & Marshall Open in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The 174-pound freshman won his final match 8-4 to cap a 5-1 showing in the NCAA D1 tournament.

Hopkins, of Colony High fame, leads Campbell in wins (18) and is tied for No. 1 in the country in pins (12).

He improved his season record to 18-8, which included one pin at the Franklin & Marshall Open. It was a 40-second special against an opponent from North Carolina.

His fastest pin was 21 seconds against Central Florida.

In high school, Hopkins was a state champion and three-time state finalist for the Colony Knights. He compiled a 99-10 record as a sophomore, junior and senior to help earn him a No. 30 national ranking at 182 in his final season.

January 7, 2019
Ruthy Hebard basketball

Ruthy Hebard

Two days after having an off night, All-Pac-12 forward Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks went off.

The University of Oregon junior recorded career highs in points, field goals and offensive rebounds in a 98-58 home win over Washington State.

Hebard went 16-for-21 from the floor and scored 34 points. She also grabbed nine rebounds, including six on the offensive end. It was actually the fourth time she’s grabbed six offensive rebounds in a game in her All-American career.

She was coming off an uncharacteristically poor 4-for-12 shooting performance in the previous game against Washington.

No doubt frustrated, Hebard took it out on Washington State for 28 minutes.

Her previous career high for points (30) and field goals (13) were set last season against Washington.

Hebard, of West Valley High fame, ranks second in NCAA D1 women’s basketball with a .709 field-goal percentage (100-for-141). Only Megan Gustagson of Iowa is better at .711 (143-for-201).

Hebard’s career field-goal percentage is .639, which shatters by 49 points the current Oregon school record of .590 set in 1984.

To put that in perspective, Hebard could miss her next 76 shots and still own the career record.

Trevor Osborne basketball

Trevor Osborne

Whitman College 3-point specialist Trevor Osborne of Anchorage is dialed in.

The junior sharpshooter leads his NCAA D3 team and ranks second in the Northwest Conference with a career-high 3-point percentage of .542 on 32-for-59 shooting.

Whitman (11-1) is ranked No. 4 in the country.

The 6-foot-2 guard has made at least one 3 in all 11 games this season to extend his personal streak to 18 straight games dating to last season.

Osborne, of Grace Christian fame, has raised his career 3-point percentage 23 points this season, going from .419 to .442, thanks to his hot streak.

He’s been especially hot in his last three games – 4-for-5, 4-for-8, 4-for-6.

Osborne is averaging 10 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

January 6, 2019
Talon Lindquist swimming

Talon Lindquist

Kodiak’s Talon Lindquist earned his first victory for the University of Hawaii swim team during a dual meet with the Wisconsin Badgers.

The freshman won the men’s 500-yard freestyle in 4 minutes, 34.46 seconds, beating seven other NCAA D1 swimmers.

Lindquist, of Kodiak High fame, has turned in top-3 performances in previous meets, placing second in the 400 individual medley against Cal State Bakersfield and third in the 200 IM against Santa Barbara.

The former high school All-American also had two fourth-place finishes against Wisconsin, in the 400 IM and as a member of the 200 medley relay.

He is one of three Alaskans on the Hawaii swimming and diving team.

Jami Stone diving

Jami Stone

The other two are sister Tahna Lindquist of Kodiak and diver Jami Stone of Chugiak.

Stone, of Eagle River High fame, is the best diver for Hawaii.

The junior has earned first-team all-league honors in 1-meter diving in each of the last two years in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. She was a second-team pick in 3-meter diving as a sophomore.

Stone is also a star in the classroom. The Kinesiology major owns MPSF All-Academic honors and has been named to the CSCAA Scholar All-America Team.

In the meet against Wisconsin, she was third in 1-meter (missing second place by .3 points) and second in 3-meter.

Tahna Lindquist swimming

Tahna Lindquist

Lindquist, a senior, is one of Hawaii’s most decorated female swimmers with a MPSF gold medal in the 800 free relay and a bronze medal in the 200 backstroke to go with her multiple all-league awards.

As a junior, she earned second-team All-MPSF honors in the 200 back.

As a sophomore, she was first team in the 800 free relay and 200 back, and second team in the 100 back.

And as a freshman, she won first-team honors in the 200 back and second-team in the 100 back.

January 5, 2019
Alex Carlton basketball

Alex Carlton

One of the best pure shooters in the NWAC is Palmer’s Alex Carlton.

The North Idaho College freshman has some of the best shooting percentages in the league when it comes to 3-pointers and free throws.

She showcased her stroke in a 90-80 win over Treasure Valley, going 3-for-3 from downtown and 4-for-4 from the foul line on her way to scoring a season-high 17 points.

Carlton, of Colony High fame, is first among the 18 Alaska women in the NWAC with a .417 3-point percentage and ranks third in that group with an .826 free-throw percentage.

The 5-foot-6 perimeter player will also crash the boards as she grabbed a season-high six rebounds against Treasure Valley, including three on the offensive end.

In 14 games this season, the starting guard has averaged 8.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 31 minutes. North Idaho is 11-3.

Nolan Walker hockey

Nolan Walker

St. Cloud State’s Nolan Walker of Anchorage collected a pair of assists in a 7-2 win over Robert Morris in a non-league NCAA D1 hockey game to continue his offensive production.

The freshman forward has had multiple points in five of his first 18 games to give him 5-13—18 totals on the season.

Walker leads all Alaska skaters in assists and points. He is tied with Mass-Lowell’s Kenny Hausinger of Anchorage in goals with five.

Walker has netted one power-play goal and stands +7 for the season.

January 4, 2019
Sandin Kidder basketball

Sandin Kidder

Anchorage’s Sandin Kidder of Grays Harbor College dominated the first and fourth quarters of play to bookend a 68-52 win over Skagit Valley in the NWAC.

The 5-foot-10 sophomore scored 14 points in the first and 10 more in the fourth en route to a 25-point performance on 11-of-24 shooting.

She grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds to complete her third double-double in nine games this season.

Kidder, of East High fame, is having an MVP-type season in the NWAC.

The wonderful wing leads the league in free-throw percentage (.897), field-goal attempts (20) and field-goal makes (9.3).

She is second in the NWAC in scoring at 23 points per game.

Kidder is much more than just a scorer; she averages 7.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

Devonaire Doutrive basketball

Devonaire Doutrive

Anchorage’s Devonaire Doutrive played a vital role in a first-half run that propelled the Arizona Wildcats to a big halftime lead en route to a 64-56 win in the Pac-12 over the visiting Colorado Buffaloes.

The freshman collected six points and three rebounds during his team’s 21-8 run over a six-plus-minute stretch to help Arizona go ahead 35-21. The Cats led 39-24 at the break.

Doutrive, of West High fame, finished with season highs in minutes (12), points (8) and rebounds (4).

The 6-foot-5 guard also went to the free-throw line for the first time, sinking both attempts.

Doutrive has really picked up his game over the last four games, twice scoring eight points and grabbing six offensive rebounds to earn more playing time.

January 3, 2019

University of Pacific forward Jeremiah Bailey of Fairbanks showed no fear in the closing moments of a nationally televised game against BYU.

With his team trailing by 3 with just over a minute left, the 6-foot-6 sophomore southpaw converted a dribble-drive three-point play to tie the game.

Bailey’s bucket tied the score at 84-84 with 62 seconds left, but BYU won the game 90-87 on ESPN.

Bailey, of Monroe Catholic High fame, finished with six points coming off the bench. He also made a 3-pointer, giving him at least one triple in 10 of his 16 games.

The Pima College transfer is averaging 4.4 points per game on 36 percent shooting. He has earned nine starts.

Bailey has twice scored nine points for his season high.

Dajan Treder wrestling

Dajan Treder

University of Providence wrestler Dajan Treder of Anchorage is the NAIA’s No. 1-ranked woman at 123 pounds.

The graduate transfer from Jamestown University has won 17 of 18 matches this season and captured three tournament titles for the Argonauts.

Treder, of West High fame, won her weight class at the Battle of the Rockies, Spokane Collegiate Open and Mike Clock Open. She placed second at the Cliff Keen West Coast Tournament of Champions.

Among her 17 victories include four pins and 11 by technical fall.

Treder was an NAIA All-American at Jamestown.

January 2, 2019
Moses Miller basketball

Moses Miller

At the halfway point of the NWAC season, Southwestern Oregon Community College guard Moses Miller of Anchorage is in the hunt for the assist title.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore ranks second in the league with 84 assists, trailing only Robert Ford of Clackamas (107).

Miller’s season average of 7.6 assists per game is twice what he put up as a freshman.

Five times he’s dished out at least nine assists and three times he’s reached double figures (10, 11, 12). His career high of 13 was set last season.

He had 88 assists in 26 games last season. This season he has 84 in 11.

Miller, of East High fame, is averaging 15.0 points per game and this season reached the 500-point club for his SWOCC career.