Doutrive latest example why the Outside can’t sleep on Alaska

December 1, 2016
Devante Doutrive basketball

Devante Doutrive

Once the silly stereotypes about Alaska faded, people in Southern California discovered Anchorage’s Devante Doutrive could really play.

Maybe even better than most of the local kids.

The 6-foot-5 senior – who played at West High as a sophomore and was voted second-team all-state – is in his second season at Birmingham High in Los Angeles and over the Thanksgiving weekend he earned MVP honors at the 65th Annual Dijon Thompson Pacific Shores boys basketball tournament at Redondo Beach.

“It feels great because everyone thinks Alaska is just ice and animals and igloos,” Doutrive told me with a laugh. “Lots of people are asking me, ‘How’d you get so talented in Alaska?’ and I just tell them that there’s a lot of great talent in Alaska. It’s just not me.”

Doutrive is the latest Alaska teen basketball star to parlay Outside success into national notoriety, joining the likes of Brandon Huffman [Word of God, North Carolina] and Kamaka Hepa [Jefferson, Oregon].

Doutrive recently received his first college offer from UTEP and other coaches have reportedly started to take notice of the hard-to-guard playmaker. He pumped in 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in an 84-74 win over perennial power Westchester in the Pacific Shores title game.

“I’m thankful and blessed that I got an offer and I’m looking to get more and working harder to get them,” Doutrive said. “And I just think that what Brandon and Kamaka did means more scouts will start to head to Alaska to watch players now. Because they’re sleeping on Alaska kids and we’re here making a statement that Alaska has talent.”

In 2015, he helped West beat East 77-73 in OT for the Class 4A state title in his final game in Alaska. Doutrive, Huffman and player-of-the-year DaZhon Wyche combined to score 52 of West’s final 58 points to secure the championship.

“The reason I left West was to move to California with my auntie and just to stay with her for a bit,” Doutrive said. “But then I realized I wasn’t going go back because I wanted to see how the Cali life was.”

He joined a Birmingham team with his younger brother Devonaire and they have helped bring back respectability to a prep program that has floundered in recent years.

“The competition down here is pretty good; lots of good, talented players,” Doutrive said. “I had no weakness in me to be afraid to play in one of the top states for basketball. I was really motivated to take my game to another level.”