Hajdukovich to participate in USA Basketball U-16 girls tryout

May 20, 2015

Jahnna Hajdukovich basketball

Jahnna Hajdukovich

As the daughter of a prominent Alaska basketball player, Jahnna Hajdukovich of Fairbanks got plenty of feedback from her father Jimmy over the years.

“My dad always has something to say,” she told me. “He always has to critique something; how to perfect my moves, perfect drives, perfect my shot, but it’s why I’ve become the player I am. He’s definitely helped me with my game.”

They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but with this family it’s more like the ball doesn’t leave the court. Both her parents played basketball at the University of Alaska Anchorage and they have passed down their toughness, desire and skill to shape this 5-foot-7 guard.

Hajdukovich, of Lathrop High fame, was widely considered one of Alaska’s top freshmen this season and now she’s in Colorado this week to participate at the USA Basketball Women’s Under-16 National Team Trials.

This is the second straight year a Fairbanks girl has been invited. Last year it was Ruthy Hebard from West Valley.

Hajdukovich is among a national pool of 158 players that will take part in skill sessions and scrimmages that will eventually determine the 12 roster spots for the national team.

“I’m very excited. I’m ready to show off my skills to coaches,” she said. “This is my second time doing something like this. I went to John Lucas [combine camp] before and I think it’s going to be a similar experience and I really liked John Lucas, but I think USA Basketball is going to be up a level.

“I definitely think I can compete.”

As a freshman at Lathrop, Hajdukovich averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. She was voted third team all-state by Class 4A coaches and twice selected tournament MVP.

She is the only Alaska player at the USA Basketball tryout.

“I’m hoping to make the team,” she said. “I know that’s low chances, but I’m going to work really hard and if it doesn’t happen I understand. I’m still going to learn a lot from it and compete against the best, which is what I’m really looking forward to.”