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 3,000 stories on over 500 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.

December 13, 2017

Kayden Lamebull-Ingram basketball

Kayden Lamebull-Ingram

In an era where bigger is better, Anchorage 13-year-old Kayden Lamebull-Ingram reminds us that guts and gusto don’t require height.

Ambition and ability still matter on the basketball court.

It doesn’t matter that the 5-foot-4 guard is usually one of the smallest players when he steps on the national stage because he proves to be one of the biggest playmakers on the court.

Lamebull-Ingram showed that once again over the weekend when he made the top-20 game at Chris Paul’s National Middle School Combine, an invitation-only event in Charlotte, North Carolina, that attracted 180 of the top sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

“I played hard this weekend but could have done a lot better,” he told me. “Camps can be hard because everyone is trying to shine, so not a lot of sharing the ball. I still like to get my team involved, though.”

He got invited to CP3’s event mainly through making the top-5 at the Elite Basketball Circuit Jr. All-American camp in California this summer.

“I put in a lot of work,” he said. “When I go to camps I know I have to work 110 percent harder than the guy next to me. I’m just a kid from Alaska; no one knows me.

“But by the end of the weekend my goal is to change that.”

Lamebull-Ingram has a habit of breaking stereotypes about Alaska players while breaking ankles at the same time. The kid has handles, and quickness – a wicked combination he uses to maneuver around taller defenders.

He’s gained national notoriety the last few years based on his performances at elite camps all over the country.

“The travel part is a lot of fun. It is like my reward for working so hard in the gym,” Lamebull-Ingram said. “I try not to pay attention to the exposure. It doesn’t really mean much until high school.”

Before then, though, he just wants to be a teenager.

“I have my fingers crossed that we will get some snow so I can snowboard,” Lamebull-Ingram said. “Now that CP3 is done I think my parents will let me go.”

December 12, 2017

Tristen Tolan hockey

Tristen Tolan

Anchorage’s Tristen Tolan is part of one of the strongest NCAA D3 women’s hockey programs at Elmira College in New York.

The Soaring Eagles have won three national championships and seven ECAC West titles, and qualified for NCAAs 13 times, in their 16-year history.

That winning pedigree is what drew the freshman forward to Elmira.

Now she’s doing her part to continue the tradition.

Tolan, of South High fame, has registered 3-4—7 totals in nine games for the 10-1 team.

December 11, 2017

Nene Hale basketball

Nene Hale

The Central Methodist University women’s basketball team has been unbeatable since Anchorage’s Nene Hale returned to the court.

The Eagles improved to 4-0 with the NAIA All-American in the lineup after she missed the first eight games of the season.

All the 5-foot-8 senior guard has done in her return is average 28.3 points per game.

“It feels good to finally be back,” she told me. “Right now, my team needs me to deliver and that’s what I’ve been doing. It’s not about the points. I just care about winning.”

Hale, of Houston High fame, hasn’t been shy about shooting the ball since her return. She’s attempted 20 shots [45/80 FG, .471%] and 6 free throws [24-of-24 FT, 1.000%] per game.

She’s been named Heart of America Athletic Conference in each of the last two weeks as Central Methodist has started 3-0 in league.

“We started the season a bit rough but we are starting to get the train rolling,” she said. “I’m going to stay in attack mode and keeping the train rolling because it’s been working and we’ve been winning.”

Hale is closing in on 1,500 career points; she currently has 1,461 in 85 games.

December 10, 2017

Ramon Harris basketball

Ramon Harris

Ramon Harris of Anchorage had his best game with Kolossos in Greece’s top basketball league.

The 6-foot-7 forward scored a season-high 16 points to go along with eight rebounds and three steals in a 94-74 win over Gymnastikos Larissa-Faros.

The former University of Kentucky standout sank 6-of-11 field goals, including all four inside the arc.

Harris, of West High fame, had been held scoreless in each of the last two games. It was his third time in double digits in eight games.

His rebound total was one shy of his season high.

Harris is averaging 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in 30 minutes. He is shooting .517 on field goals inside 22 feet.

The 29-year-old had played the previous five seasons in the NBA G-League, where he set Alaska career records for games, points and rebounds and won a championship with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in 2014.

December 9, 2017

Tommy Hopp football

Thomas Hopp

Anchorage’s Thomas Hopp of the South Dakota State football team is the only Alaska player part of the Football Championship Subdivision title chase.

The fifth-seeded Jackrabbits defeated New Hampshire 56-14 in Brookings, South Dakota, to reach the final four of the NCAA D1 tournament.

Hopp, of South High fame, is a senior fullback.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder didn’t carry the ball, but he did make a tackle on special teams.

In fact, it was the second straight season the Alaskan made a tackle in a FCS playoff game.

Hopp has played in all 13 games this year for 11-2 South Dakota State.

He made nine tackles, including three solo, and had one tackle for loss. He also returned a kickoff eight yards.

Hopp came to South Dakota State in 2016 from Santa Barbara City College. He arrived as a linebacker but switched to fullback in the spring.

As a junior, he played in 10 games and was selected the team’s Special Teams Player of the Week during Hobo Game against Youngstown State.

He recorded a season-high two tackles in back-to-back games at Northern Iowa and against Villanova in the playoffs.

December 8, 2017

Jeremy Swayman hockey

Jeremy Swayman

A pair of goaltenders from Alaska’s largest city faced off all the way across the country in a college hockey game in Hamden, Connecticut.

Maine’s Jeremy Swayman of Anchorage and Quinnipiac’s Andrew Shortridge of Eagle River both started between the pipes for the NCAA D1 programs, although neither netminder played his best in Maine’s non-conference 7-4 victory.

Swayman did make a season-high 50 saves and turned aside 30 of 31 shots in the final two periods as the Black Bears rallied from a 3-1 deficit after the first period.

The freshman is now 6-3-1 in 11 appearances with a 2.54 goals-against average. His season save percentage is .925.

Andrew Shortridge hockey

Andrew Shortridge

Shortridge’s night began well enough but two power-play goals in the second period tied the game at 3-3 after two periods.

He finished with 23 saves but was chased in the third period.

The sophomore was coming off a 27-save shutout of Dartmouth. It was his third clean sheet of the season.

His record is now 5-7-2 with a 2.37 GAA and .907 save percentage.

December 7, 2017

Anchorage’s Dolly Lefever didn’t set out to climb all of the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, but that’s exactly what she did.

Dolly Lefever

Lefever made mountaineering magic in 1993 when she reached the top of Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko to become the first American woman and third woman ever to conquer the famed Seven Summits.

It’s a moment that will be celebrated by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame as part of the celebration to induct the Class of 2018.
Iconic volleyball coach Virgil Hooe and Olympic cross-country skier Holly Brooks will join Lefever’s moment and the Arctic Winter games will headline an induction ceremony this April 24th, at the Anchorage Museum.
The news was made official today by Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson. This will be the 12th class to be honored by the Hall.

“We’re excited to announce the Class of 2018 and induct them into the Hall in April,” said Robinson.  “This class represents our state’s diverse sports culture well and is a group we can very proud of.”

Virgil Hooe

Lefever’s other six summits included Everest [Asia], Aconcagua [South America], Denali [North America], Kilimanjaro [Africa], Elbrus [Europe] and Vinson [Antarctica].

Hooe, of Anchorage, is an Alaska volleyball pioneer and record-setting high school coach with 11 Class 4A state championships, including a record 10 at Service High School, in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

In all, Hooe won more than 400 matches, 14 region tournament titles and 17 regular-season conference championships.

In 1983, he founded the Midnight Sun Volleyball club team that has helped dozens of players land college scholarships.

Hooe was the head coach at West from 1976 to 1981 and at Service from 1982 to 2003 before he joined South in 2004 as a volunteer assistant. Years later, he served as a volunteer assistant at the University of Alaska.

Synonymous with volleyball in Alaska, his legacy impacted hundreds of teen girls as he single-handedly changed the face of the sport through his leadership, direction and mentoring.

Holly Brooks

Brooks, of Anchorage, is a former U.S. Ski Team member who twice competed in the Olympics and was part of the first Americans to podium in a 4x5K World Cup relay race.

She skied at Whitman College but never qualified for a national meet until she joined the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center in 2006. She took a job as a coach and it changed her life.

Brooks quickly earned her stripes as a Sourdough and developed into an elite athlete. By 2009 she had won her first national championship, one of nine victories that winter that propelled her to the 2010 Olympics.

She went on to post seven top-10 World Cup finishes, capture a pair of national championships and secure a second Olympic spot in 2014. Other career highlights included victories in the 50K Tour of Anchorage and 55K American Birkebeiner marathon.

Brooks was also a prestigious mountain runner and captured multiple titles in some of Alaska’s most distinctive races such as Mount Marathon, Bird Ridge and Lost Lake.

The Arctic Winter Games were founded in 1969 with the help of Alaska Gov. Walter J. Hickel.

Since then, the Games have been held on two dozen occasions to focus on the athletes from Alaska, Canada, Russia and Greenland.

The 2018 Games will be the 25th edition.

Alaska has hosted the Games six times, most recently in Fairbanks in 2014.

December 6, 2017

Adam Klie basketball

Adam Klie

He started each of the final 104 games of his college career, but Anchorage’s Adam Klie has started his pro career coming off the bench.

The rookie has played a reserve role with the Niagara River Lions of Canada’s NBL as he adjusts to the pro game.

He had his best game against the St. John’s Edge when he collected season highs in points [13] and rebounds [9] in a 105-91 loss. He played 18 minutes.

The 6-foot-4 guard drained 6-of-9 field goals to give him almost as many points in one night as he had in the first four games combined [14].

Klie, of Service High fame, is averaging 5.4 points and 5.4 rebounds.

December 5, 2017

Ruthy Hebard basketball

Ruthy Hebard

After last season finishing seventh on Oregon’s all-time list for single-season field goal percentage [.588], Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks has the record in her sights.

The 6-foot-4 sophomore leads the Pac-12 in shooting at a .646 clip through the first seven games for the 10th-ranked Ducks.

She may have caught opponents off guard as a freshman, but there’s no excuse for them this year. Hebard is proving to be nearly unstoppable.

Twice this season she played a game without missing a field goal – shooting 10-for-10 against Texas A&M and 7-for-7 against Eastern Washington.

Hebard, of West Valley High fame, is on pace to break Oregon’s school record of .614 that has stood since 1981.

In 44 career games, her career shooting percentage is a ridiculous .548.

December 4, 2017

Jordan Smelker hockey

Jordan Smelker

After a slow start to the season, the Boston Pride needed to catch fire and Anchorage’s Jordan Smelker provided the spark.

The 25-year-old winger registered points in back-to-back games – setting up the go-ahead goal one night and scoring the tie-breaking goal the next – to help Boston get off the schneid.

Smelker did not register a point in the first three games of the NWHL season before setting up a goal in the third period to give the Pride a 2-1 lead in a game they eventually lost 4-3 to the Connecticut Whale.

The next game she scored a power-play goal in the second period of a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Beauts in a rematch of last year’s Isobel Cup final.

It was her first goal of the season and it was Boston’s first win in five games.

Smelker, of Service High fame, has registered 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points in 46 career games.

Nathan Fromm basketball

Nathan Fromm

Nathan Fromm‘s second-half shooting spree pushed him to a career high and nearly pushed Western Wyoming over the top against Southern Idaho in the National Junior College Athletic Association.

With his team trailing by 20 points at halftime, the Anchorage freshman single-handedly spearheaded a remarkable rally that saw the lead shrink to 4 before falling 120-106 in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Fromm, of Service High fame, pumped in 30 of his season-high 38 in the second half, including 7-of-8 3-pointers.

His steal and layup made it 104-100 with 3:03 left, the closest Western Wyoming would get.

He finished 14-of-23 from the floor, including 9-of-10 from downtown.

Fromm leads Western Wyoming in scoring at 19.8 points per game and 3-point shooting at .512 percentage.

December 3, 2017

Reece Robinson basketball

Reece Robinson

Anchorage’s Reece Robinson doesn’t start for Northwest Christian, but man does he finish.

The sophomore transfer is among the team leaders in points, rebounds, blocked shots and 3-pointers despite coming off the bench and playing fewer minutes. He’s making the most out of the playing time he does get.

Robinson, of Service High fame, has been in double digits in five of six games and ranks third on the NAIA team with 65 points and a 10.8 average. His season high is 16.

The 6-foot-4 forward leads Northwest Christian with 12 offensive rebounds and is second with a 6.2 average. His season high is eight.

He has blocked a team-high five shots.

The former Alaska Class 4A player of the year is shooting nearly as well from the 3-point line [7-for-14] as he is the free-throw line [8-for-15].

Travante Williams basketball

Travante Williams

Travante Williams of Anchorage continued his red-hot shooting in Portugal.

The 6-foot-6 forward with a soft touch improved his field-goal percentage to .673 on the season after nine games.

The former UAF star sank 9-of-14 shots and scored 23 points as Oliveirense beat Barreirense 82-78 in Portugal’s top division.

Williams, of Mt. Edgecumbe High fame, added 4-of-7 free throws, three rebounds, two steals and an assist for an efficient 22 player ranking.

He’s at his best with the ball in his hands, utilizing his aggressive dribble-drive game. He cuts better than Ginsu.

Williams is averaging 12 points and a 13.6 player ranking this season.

He’s grabbing 4.3 rebounds per game and shooting .792 from the free-throw line.

December 2, 2017

Lauren Murphy MMA Mixed Martial Arts

Lauren Murphy

After dropping three of her previous four decisions, Lauren Murphy of Eagle River finally had one go her way.

The 34-year-old flyweight outpointed former Invicta FC champ Barb Honchak by the slimmest of margins, winning 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 to claim the three-round mixed martial arts fight at the Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale event in Las Vegas.

Stepping in on short notice, Murphy was added to the card just one day prior as a late replacement.

“Can’t put into words how happy I am today!,” she wrote on Instagram. “I went to war with Barb Honchak last night. I took the fight on ONE day’s notice. She is one of the best flyweights of all time, and was the #2 seed and semifinalist on #TUF26.”

Murphy, of Chugiak High fame, improved to 10-3 for her career, 2-3 in the UFC. Honchak fell to 10-3.

“This win means so much to me – every win does, but this one is extra special,” Murphy said. “I have so much respect for Barb. I think she is one of the best, and to even have a close fight with her would have been awesome, but to come out with a win is amazing.

“I’ve rolled with Barb before, and she’s submitted me before, so I knew it would be tough on the ground. With somebody like her, it really depends on who gets the better position. If you have us roll 10 times, we’re always going to have a different result, and it just so happens that tonight was my night.”

December 1, 2017
Alev Kelter rugby

Alev Kelter

Eagle River’s Alev Kelter converted the winning conversion with no time on the clock as the U.S. women’s national rugby sevens team pulled off a massive upset of five-time defending world champion New Zealand 14-12 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

With her team trailing 12-7 with no time remaining, American Kelsi Stockart slipped past the Kiwis and ran 70 meters untouched for a tying five-point try.

Kelter – the former University of Wisconsin soccer player – then kicked a chip-shot two-point conversion to secure the quarterfinal win in the Dubai 7s tournament.

It was a stark reversal of fortunes from the last match of pool play, when the Kiwis blasted the U.S. 45-14. It was also the first win over New Zealand after four straight defeats.

In the semifinals, the 26-year-old Alaskan again played hero for the U.S. as she racked up 14 points in a 21-12 victory over Russia.

Kelter, of Chugiak High fame, scored the game’s first try and conversion to spot the Americans a 7-0 lead. Her second try made it 12-0 and her second conversion made it 21-12.

The U.S. lost 34-0 to Australia in the Dubai tournament final. The runner-up result was a much better showing compared to the previous two years when the U.S. finished 11th.

That progress is tied to Kelter, who finished fourth in the tournament with seven conversions and extended her streak to 20 of consecutive tournaments played since joining the national rugby team in 2014.

November 30, 2017

Travon Brackett basketball

Travon Brackett

Anchorage’s Travon Brackett had the best all-around game of his Holy Cross career as he flirted with a triple-double in a 73-50 win over Robert Morris during NAIA play in Notre Dame, Indiana.

The 6-foot-4 senior guard delivered 24 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals in 39 minutes. He sank 9-of-16 field goals and 4-of-5 free throws.

His points total was a season high, his rebound total was one shy of his season high and his assist total matched his season high.

In addition, he knocked down 2-of-6 3-pointers, which was noteworthy because he came into the game having made only 2-of-16 shots from downtown.

Brackett, of West Valley High fame, has been Mr. Everything for Holy Cross this year.

Through the first 10 games, he ranks second on the team in scoring [11.1] and rebounding [6.2] and first in assists [3.1], steals [1.6] and blocked shots [0.5].

The second-year transfer needs just four more points to reach 400 for his Holy Cross career.

November 29, 2017

Allie Ostrander Cross Country Running

Allie Ostrander

Even when she isn’t running, Kenai’s Allie Ostrander is still winning.

The reigning steeplechase track national champion and multiple winner in cross country from Boise State earned her fourth career All-American honor after finishing fourth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

She was also the recipient of the NCAA Elite 90 Award, given to the top scholar-athlete at each of the NCAA’s 90 championship sites. She was the only female athlete to win the award at the D1 meet in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ostrander, of Kenai High fame, is a 4.0 student majoring in Kinesiology.

She helped Boise State place sixth in the team race – the highest finish for a Bronco cross country team in the history of the program.

Now another accolade for the Alaskan.

For the second time in her career, Ostrander was named a cross country finalist for the prestigious Honda Sports Award – given to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports who signify “the best of the best in collegiate athletics.”

The winner of the sport award is voted on by more than 1,000 administrators and automatically becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and 2018 Honda Cup.

“The collegiate running path hasn’t been easy, but the challenges and adversity have made me appreciate the small victories so much more,” Ostrander told her school’s website. “It’s an honor to be included in this group of finalists who I know are strong, determined individuals that realize how valuable moments of success like this are.”

This is the fourth time a Bronco has been a finalist for the award, with half belonging to Ostrander.

November 28, 2017

Brad Oleson basketball

Brad Oleson

He might be the oldest player on his team, but Brad Oleson of North Pole looked a lot like his younger self in UCAM Murcia’s 82-71 win over Retabet in Spain’s top division.

The 34-year-old played a team-high 33 minutes, pumped in 19 points and earned the game’s highest player ranking.

He knocked down 4-of-5 3-pointers and all five free throws. The 6-foot-3 guard added three rebounds, three assists and two steals.

His player ranking of 25 made him one of only two players in the 20s.

Oleson, of North Pole High fame, is the team’s second-leading scorer at 10.1 points in eight league games. He leads the team with 19 threes and a .452 shooting percentage from downtown.

This is the Alaskan’s 14th professional season – the 13th in Spain.

November 27, 2017

Kenny Hausinger hockey

Kenny Hausinger

Anchorage’s Kenny Hausinger set up the game’s only goal as UMass Lowell edged UConn 1-0 in Hockey East action in Hartford, Connecticut.

The sophomore winger assisted on the goal with a rush up the right half wall off of a UConn turnover midway through the second period.

The assist was Hausinger’s 30th career point.

The win was the fourth in the row for the River Hawks and elevated them to a third-place tie in the Hockey East, one point out of second place.

Hausinger, of Dimond High fame, is tied for the team lead with five goals and ranks second on UMass Lowell with 5-7-12 point totals in 14 games.

He owns 14-16-30 career totals.

November 26, 2017

Jeremy Swayman hockey

Jeremy Swayman

The significance of playing a college hockey tournament in the United Kingdom wasn’t lost on Anchorage’s Jeremy Swayman.

The Maine freshman goaltender packed his A-game to help the Black Bears secure third place at the Friendship Four Tournament in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

He stopped 52-of-57 shots on the weekend and backstopped Maine’s 4-2 victory over Rensselaer.

Swayman had 34 saves in a 3-0 loss to Providence in the opening game. His .923 save percentage was a season high.

He bounced back the next night with some glove love, turning aside 18 shots and going almost 40 minutes between goals. Both scores he allowed in the first and third period came in the final minute of play.

Swayman owns a 4-3 record and 2.51 goals against average in eight games.

November 25, 2017

Moses Miller basketball

Moses Miller

The progression of Anchorage’s Moses Miller has come fast and furious.

The Southwestern Oregon freshman has steadily seen his minutes surge and his scoring increase through the first four games of his junior college career with the NWAC school in Coos Bay.

The 6-foot-2 guard is averaging 19 points to lead the Lakers and tie for 19th in the 34-team league.

Miller, of East High fame, is coming off a season-high 23 points against Yakima Valley in which he added season bests in minutes [36], field-goal attempts [20], field goals [8], free-throw attempts [4] and free throws [4].

It was also his third consecutive game with eight made field goals.

Miller has been in double figures in all four games, going from 16 to 18 to 19 to 23 in part because his minutes have gone from 25 to 29 to 30 to 36.

More minutes, more points. It’s not rocket science, but more playing time doesn’t always equate to more offense.

Credit Miller for doing the right things behind the scenes at practice to earn the coach’s trust.

November 24, 2017

Bailey Wright hockey

Bailey Wright

After a slow start, the Bemidji State women’s hockey team has found its stride.

And a couple Alaskans have helped make it possible.

Senior forward Bailey Wright of Anchorage and freshman forward Clair DeGeorge each delivered their first three-game points streaks to lead the bounce back.

Bemidji State has busted off a recent 3-2-1 stretch since snapping a seven-game losing streak and stand 5-9-1 overall this season.

Wright earned assists in three straight games for the first time in her four-year career, stretching 100 games.

This season has been an offensive explosion for Wright, who in September scored her first goal in a full calendar year against Syracuse.

She has compiled 7-13-20 career totals, which includes three goals and two assists in 30 games as a freshman at Minnesota Duluth.

Clair DeGeorge hockey

Clair DeGeorge

Meanwhile, DeGeorge looks like she’ll be an offensive force for many years to come.

The rookie has made an immediate impact for Bemidji State, as she leads the team with eight assists and is tied for the team lead with 11 points.

She too enjoyed her first three-game points streak with a goal and three helpers. Her goal over the weekend against Ohio State was her third on the season.

DeGeorge leads the team with .73 points per game and has tallied 3-8-11 totals in 15 games.

November 23, 2017

Whitney Williams tennis

Whitney Williams

Back in 2009, Whitney Williams moved to Alaska and the first opponent she faced in her first tennis tournament was Emma Lewis.

It’s fitting because the two players have been linked ever since.

The younger Williams beat Lewis in three sets that day, but since then she’s always looked up to Lewis, who is four years older.

Lewis won three state singles titles at South High before Williams was a freshman but then Williams won three state singles titles.

Lewis went on to play at D3 Bowdoin College in Maine, where her 125 career victories were the most by an Alaskan at the NCAA level. Williams only dreamed she could mirror that success when she went to D1 Abilene Christian in Texas.

Emma Lewis Tennis

Emma Lewis

She actually did better.

Williams has logged 157 career victories with the spring season still to be played, meaning she’s got a shot at 200.

“It’s pretty amazing because I didn’t come to college and set out to have the wins record for college players from Alaska, but it’s very exciting to see all the hard work I put in to show and to be rewarded for that,” she told me.

Williams has gone 69-44 in singles and 88-34 in doubles. She has earned all-conference honors in each of her three seasons and collected a half dozen tournament titles, all in doubles.

“I didn’t know I would be a part of making this leap in Alaskan history, but I feel very honored,” she said. “There’s not a particular number I want to get to because I want to win every match I play. However, I want to come out of my college career with the record being a lot bigger than 157.”

Being the rare college tennis player from Alaska is how most people know her on the college tennis circuit.

“I am the player from Alaska for sure,” she said. “The refs at tournaments remember partially because I’m from Alaska. I’ve made some amazing relationships and connections with others because of being from the amazing state of Alaska.”

She arrived in Alaska by way of Louisiana in 2009 already armed with a good game but credited man Anchorage coaches for helping her reach new heights.

“Paul Hemry, Jimmy Kayango and Aaron Haines helped me really improve during my time in high school by competing with me and playing against me,” Williams said. “My trainer was Mike Swetnam, who helped me ton. He got me prepared to be physically ready to compete during high school and in preparation for college.”

November 22, 2017

Pindo Drammeh basketball

Pindo Drammeh

Anchorage’s Pindo Drammeh grabbed 10 rebounds, including a few huge boards late in the game that set up the go-ahead points, to key Clarke’s 79-76 win over Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana.

The 6-foot-9 center finished with 10 points to complete his first double-double in seven games with his new NAIA team from Iowa.

With his team trailing virtually the entire second half, Drammeh went to work by cleaning the glass and using his rebounds to help set up points on the other end of the floor.

At the 9:03 mark, his board led to a 3-pointer that cut the lead from 7 to 4. At 7:13, his handy work led to another 3 that gave Clarke the lead at 66-65. And at 5:20 his rebound led to a bucket that extended the lead to 70-65.

Drammeh, of Service High fame, finished with five offensive rebounds and five defensive rebounds. It was the second straight game with 10 boards.

The junior transfer is averaging 8.1 points and 4.7 rebounds in 19.5 minutes.

He leads the team with five blocked shots coming off the bench.

November 21, 2017

Marquis White basketball

Marquis White

The college basketball season just started, but Central Wyoming has already discovered a winning formula with Marquis White of Anchorage.

The JC is 5-0 when the freshman reaches doubles figures.

Central Wyoming remained undefeated after White pumped in a season-high 21 points in 21 minutes in a 106-101 win over Eastern Wyoming.

White, of East High fame, is averaging 12 points per game and leads the team with a dozen 3-pointers in seven games.

The 6-foot-3 guard isn’t just another jump shooter.

His driving game gets him to the free-throw line, where he’s among the team leaders in attempts [33] and makes [20] and percentage [.606].

White also has 10 offensive rebounds and a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.