Hepa, Christy dazzle at Elite 125 [Basketball]
You probably haven’t heard of them yet, but two young Alaska basketball players, Kamaka Hepa of Barrow and Noah Christy of Anchorage, made their names known at the CrossRoads Elite 125 National Camp in Nashville.
Camp director Adam Shoulders raved about their performances as they held their own against some of the nation’s top class of 2017 and 2018 prospects from all over the country. Top talent evaluators like ESPN and Rivals were attracted to the inaugural Elite 125 Camp, which featured rising freshmen and a selected group of eighth graders.
It was a who’s who for the next generation.
“I wanted to have some representation from Alaska,” Shoulders told me. “Not very many national camps have any kids coming from Alaska. They are starving for any kind of exposure.”
Hepa and Christy played AAU ball this summer with Team 907 for Anchorage coach Jim Young, who connected Shoulders with the two players. They proved they belonged right away.
Christy is a 6-foot-5 freshman forward at West High.
“Noah played well but he was hampered by an injury all weekend,” Shoulders said. “He had to see the trainer. He was having a problem with his leg. I guess it was from July in Vegas, an injury he was still nursing. He’s athletic, strong, active, rebounded and finished around the rim.”
Hepa is a 6-foot-5 forward who is in the eighth grade.
The middle-school kid from Barrow stole the show.
“He stood out,” Shoulders said. “Real skilled, real high basketball IQ, can handle the ball well for his size. I thought he would have a deer-in-the-headlights deal coming from Barrow, but he jumped right in there. He played in the Top 20 game with kids that are already receiving interest from high major colleges.”
Shoulders said he was impressed with Hepa’s fundamentals and decision making.
“He was always trying to make the right plays for his teammates whether it was a dribble handoff and set a little screen for a shooter or passing to an open man,” he said. “He’s already one of the better players in Alaska for sure.”