2023 AABC all-star basketball games give seniors one more chance to show off skills

2023 AABC all-star basketball games give seniors one more chance to show off skills
Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 1:09 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches has been putting the senior all-star games on annually since 2011 to bring the best high school senior basketball players together from every division — 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A.

The gymnasium at Grace Christian School is home to the reigning 3A boys and girls state championship basketball teams, but over the weekend there was more talent in the gym than ever.

“It’s an awesome honor to get to host an event like this at our school,” AABC Vice President Jason Boerger said. “It’s a celebration of Alaskan athletes. I just love the Alaska basketball community and it means a lot to give back a little bit to the state and to our great players who work so hard all season long.”

High school seniors from across the state are selected by coaches from across the state and then randomly sorted onto rosters for either Team Blue or Team Gold. Divisions 1A and 2A are mixed together, and 3A and 4A are combined — making for matchups rarely seen elsewhere..

“I think the mission statement says it all — we want to promote coaches, students and our game,” AABC President Eric Stockhausen said. “This senior all-star weekend is like the capstone of most high school kids in Alaska,”

The games also provide a chance for the seniors to show off their skills one more time in hopes of wowing college coaches — many of whom were in attendance, like Deb Castle of Skagit Valley Community College in Washington.

“These Alaska coaches encourage us to come up here to help these girls and there is a great pipeline up here,” Castle said. “These girls are talented, they come down, they play in our leagues, they are competitive, we can’t go wrong.”

Seniors who play their cards right have not one, but two chances to get onto a college coach’s radar. Before the all-star games, there were three different camps held at the Dimond, Bartlett and West Anchorage high school gyms. Coaches from all over the Pacific Northwest coordinated the camps in the hopes of uncovering a hidden gem on the court.

Quite a few of the players that were in attendance at those camps also played in the all-star games to maximize their chances of being recruited.

However, being recruited to play college basketball and showing off skills on the court in front of friends and family isn’t the only reason that the weekend is important.

“I think it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and to make you learn to talk to other people because that was a problem for me just being shy, but it was good to talk to the other girls and just get to know them,” Jayden Lane said.

Early reports are that 10 different athletes received offers after the weekend, which just goes to show how important the weekend continues to be for Alaska high school basketball.