4 area basketball athletes compete in all-star games

Four southern Kenai Peninsula athletes and others from schools around the state were back on the basketball court Saturday to compete in the annual Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches’ Senior All-Star Games at Dimond High School in Anchorage. 

On the 1A/2A girls’ roster was Kilina Klaich of Nikolaevsk, on the 1A/2A boys’ roster was Seldovia’s Seth O’Leary and on the 3A/4A boys’ roster were Sheldon Hutt and Jaruby Nelson of Homer. The games also featured a three-point competition and a dunk contest.  

“Seems like every year we’re getting a handful (of athletes) from down there,” said AABC President David Porter. “They did an awesome job. … I’m really pleased with these kids.”

The association’s goal is to “promote athletes, recognize their accomplishments throughout the year and try to give these kids one last opportunity to have a chance at a college scholarship,” said Porter.

Representatives from 15 colleges were on hand, mostly from the Pacific Northwest, to observe the on-court action. In addition, the games were televised, streamed and information on the games sent directly to colleges in order to promote the participating students.

“They were watching and very impressed and said they’d be coming back more often,” said Porter of the annual event.

Divided into “Yellow” and “Blue” teams, the 1A/2A girls Yellow team won their competition with a score of 99-66. Klaich scored six of Yellow’s total points, shooting three field goals. The 1A/2A boys Yellow team also won their competition, scoring 80 to Blue’s 70. Playing for Yellow, O’Leary sunk one field goal and two free throws, for a total of four points for the Yellow team. 

In the 3A/4A boys competition, Nelson played for the Blue team and Hutt for the Yellows, with the Blues claiming a 100-92 victory. Nelson scored 13 points for the Blues, five field goals and one three-pointer, and Hutt added two field goals for a total of four points for the Yellows.

McKibben Jackinsky is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.